Rushville Republican

Letters to the Editor

September 10, 2013

Where were the bells?

Dear Editor:

Today at 2 p.m. I turned on WIBC from Indianapolis to listen to the news and weather. The newscaster said church bells would be ringing at 3 p.m. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

I thought, “Wow! That will be neat, hearing all the church bells ring all at once in Rushville!”

I set the alarm on my cell phone for 2:55 p.m. so I would be sure to be out on the front porch to hear them.

My alarm went off, I went out, opened my cell phone so I could see when it was 3 p.m., sat down, and waited. Time clicked to 3 p.m., then to 3:01, 3:02, 3:03, 3:04, onto 3:10 p.m. and I heard – nothing.

I got very upset and called one of the Presbyterian churches in town and got an answering machine. I left a message that hearing no bells ring was a travesty.

Then I thought, well, the day was windy, maybe I just didn’t hear them. So I called the Rushville Republican newsroom to see if they had heard any church bells ringing. They had not, and no church had called them to tell them of the commemoration.

The Internet said that church bells and hand bells were rung in over 300 communities. From the nation’s capital, to a Georgia mountain, to New York City, and to Alaska, where participants rang cow bells and bear bells. All to echo King’s closing refrain from 1963. He asked his audience to “let freedom ring” from the hilltops and mountains of every state in the union. From King’s speech, he said, “When we allow freedom to ring-when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last, free at last, great God almighty, we are free at last.”

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