Did you hear the Norwood Schoolhouse and Methodist Church bells ringing on the Fourth of July at 2:00 p.m.? Why were they ringing?
On July 4, 1963, President Kennedy encouraged Americans nationwide to “ring freedom bells” to help celebrate Independence Day. While a popular tradition for many years, it slowly was forgotten and the bell ringing fell by the wayside. However, through a national effort on the part of patriotic citizens, the bell-ringing tradition has been resurrected and communities across the nation were encouraged to “ring a bell; cowbells, sleigh bells, school bells, church bells.”
Marian Light caught wind of the idea and contacted Yasmine Richmond to see if the Norwood Area Historical Society was willing to ring the school bell, while she and her husband, George Light, rang the Methodist Church bell. At 2:00 p.m. several Norwood residents gathered at the Schoolhouse and Paul Vermeesch rang the Schoolhouse bell 30 times (23 times for each decade of independence plus seven times for each additional year). Marian and George pulled the ropes of the Methodist Church bell, 50 times, once for all 50 states.
We hope to continue this tradition and look forward to sharing it with many more of our friends and neighbors in the village.