Letting freedom ring

Published 7:54 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2024

The Virginia American Revolution 250 Commission, formed by the General Assembly in 2020 to plan the state’s 2025 commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the Revolutionary War, encouraged all localities in the state to ring a bell 13 times, once for each state in their order of admission to the Union, at 5 p.m. on July 4 to celebrate Independence Day. Isle of Wight County rang the bell at its circa-1801 former courthouse, which has served as the seat of the county government for 213 years.

The bell, cast in 1902, was removed when its tower was demolished in 1954 but rediscovered in 1978 by Zachariah Turner, who donated it to the county and remounted it in 1984 in a more accessible, ground-level belfry in front of the courthouse. The white columned porch and adjacent porticos were added in 1957 for the 350th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. 

Lucy Hines, encouraged by her husband, Bob, tolls the bell for Delaware, the first state admitted 1787 to the new United States. In back, Geoff and Karen McFather wait their turn for the fifth toll for Connecticut.

Westside Elementary student Remy Jones, age 10, rings the bell for Rhode Island, the 13th state to join the Union.

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