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Ridgefield to celebrate 'Let Freedom Ring'

On this Fourth of July, Ridgefield will be celebrating Let Freedom Ring, a long-standing tradition in which local churches, institutions, and individuals ring their bells 13 times at 2pm, representing the 13 colonies that fought for freedom and independence in 1776.  The Ridgefield Historical Society will once again lead the town in the bell-ringing tradition.  Participating institutions include Jesse Lee, St. Mary, St. Stephen’s, Sacred Heart, Saint Patrick’s in Georgetown, The Meetinghouse/Ridgebury Congregational Church, the Peter Parley Schoolhouse, and Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center. With the Town’s permission, a group of patriots will also be congregating on Bailey Avenue to give the old fire bell 13 tolls for independence.  A reading of the Declaration of Independence will follow the chiming bells. The Let Freedom Ring tradition was made official in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy proclaimed July 4 to be “National Bell Ringing Day” through U.S. Congressional Resolution Number 25, where all across the nation Americans would ring bells to celebrate freedom and patriotism, as the founding fathers would have done when the Revolutionary War was won in 1783. Historic sites like the Liberty Bell, many National Parks, Pearl Harbor, and the Alamo have participated in this event, and locally the Norwalk Historical Society has hosted this event in the past.

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Todd Schnitt

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