The Liberty Bell, in my eyes, symbolizes our great nation’s perseverance and imperfect history. It is also, obviously, a symbol for liberty. In 1751 the bell was ordered from London to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Philadelphia’s original constitution. However, on the first test ring upon it’s arrival in Philadelphia the bell cracked.
That bell was then melted down to create the bell that we know and love today. Obviously our current bell did not last the test of time in function, but it has done more for our great nation than I could have ever imagined.
In 1777 as the British advanced toward Philly, the bell was taken from the city to protect it from being melted down and used for cannonballs. It was hidden in Allentown below a church. In 1781, after the British were defeated the bell was returned to Philadelphia. The second bell rang from the tower of Independence Hall for approximately 90 years before it cracked in the early 1840’s.
It was put to good use calling people and lawmakers alike to the center of the town for important events. The crack could not be mended so metal workers widened the crack to return the tone of the bell. The crack in the bell today that we have all come to know is actually the repair that was done to the bell. I don’t know why, I find this fabulously interesting. Unfortunately, the widening of the crack only worked to weaken the bell and cause yet another crack making the bell no longer able to ring.
The inscription on the bell is from Leviticus 25:10 and reads: “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof”. This piece of Scripture made the bell a huge part of the abolitionist movement to end slavery. When the nation’s symbol clearly says “Proclaim Liberty…unto all the inhabitants thereof” you’ve got yourself a pretty solid argument for liberty and freedom for all. In fact, the bell was not known as the “Liberty Bell” until it was called such in an abolitionist pamphlet in 1839.
It was really cool to see the Liberty Bell up close. It is such major symbol for America; you can look at it and see the story of perseverance and our forefathers that is etched into the metal. America is supposed to be about the right to freedom, the right to liberty, and the right to pursue happiness. The Liberty Bell has been silenced but still proclaims these rights loud and clear. I hope it will remain a symbol for our great nation; something that calls us to remember our roots, what we strive for, and what we should continue to pursue.
If you’re ever in Philly don’t miss the chance to go and see the Liberty Bell. It’s completely free and amazing to see such a symbolic piece of America’s history.