Annapolis will toll its bells tomorrow in national Independence Day event

July 03, 1996|By S. Mitra Kalita | S. Mitra Kalita,SUN STAFF

With bells simultaneously tolling over the city tomorrow, Annapolis will join communities across the country in marking Independence Day.

About a dozen churches, fire stations and other institutions will participate in the 2 p.m. ceremony.

More than 200 communities nationwide took part in last year's commemoration, said Garth H. Read, president of the Annapolis chapter of the Retired Officers Association, a group of former military officers that is sponsoring the event locally.

"Nationwide bell ringing is becoming a way to observe our nation's freedom," Read said.

The bells will be rung 13 times to honor the 13 states whose representatives signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Congress recognized the nationwide bell-ringing ceremony more than 30 years ago, after the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia tolled to mark the holiday.

Since then, the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution has organized and planned the national effort. Each state is encouraged to ring its replica of the Liberty Bell on the Fourth of July.

Maryland's replica is on the grounds of St. John's College, Read said.

Bells ring at 2 p.m. on the East Coast, at 1 p.m. in the Midwest, at noon in the Mountain time zone and at 11 a.m. on the West Coast.

The Annapolis Fire Department will strike fire bells collected from four retired stations that are no longer in use. The bells are in the fire stations on Taylor Avenue and in Eastport.

Pub Date: 7/03/96

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