Thunder Ridge Middle School students joined Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock for the rededication of the Colorado Liberty Bell in downtown Denver today, Sept. 17, which fittingly, is Constitution Day. The students each got to ring the Colorado Liberty Bell as part of the rededication ceremony.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Sarah Elrod, an eighth grader. “I loved being part of our historical past and our country’s future at the same time!”
Thunder Ridge students, led by members of the school’s National Junior Honor Society, participated in a fundraiser last year to support restoration of the bell, which is a replica of the original Liberty Bell.
“It was truly an honor to have been able to raise the funds in order to support this historic preservation project,” said Lisa Carey, social studies teacher and NJHS advisor. “Then, on top of that honor, comes the thrill of watching my students be the first ones to ring the Colorado Liberty Bell since 1974.”
The original Liberty Bell was commissioned in 1752 and cast with the lettering, "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." It was hung in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House and used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations. The bell was rung to gather citizens together when the Declaration of Independence was first read.
In 1950, 55 Liberty Bell replicas were commissioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to promote the U.S. savings bond drive. Each state, every territory of the U. S. and the District of Columbia received a full size, 2,100-pound replica of the Liberty Bell, cast in Annecy-le-Vieux, France. The bells were to be displayed and rung on patriotic occasions.
Colorado’s bell was rung in the Greek theater in Civic Center Park in 1950, before beginning a tour of the state. It has been displayed in the Colorado Capitol, the Old State Museum and in Lincoln Park on the Capitol grounds, where it now resides.
--Posted Sept. 17, 2014.