Liberty Will Ring Out in Hartford, CT
June 30, 2012 at 5:50 pm #12091Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
Liberty Will Ring Out After All
July 4, 2012 at 2 PM
South Grounds of the State Capitol
210 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, Conn. 06106
Descendent of signer of Declaration of Independence to ring state’s replica Liberty Bell on July 4.
Truxton Brodhead, 77, of Niantic will ring Connecticut’s replica Liberty Bell at the State Capitol at 2 PM on July 4. Brodhead is a veteran and a direct descendent of George Read, one of fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Ceremonies begin at 1-45 PM at the south entrance of the State Capitol, and are sponsored by Friends of the Norwich Bells.
“I was mortified to learn that the bell wasn’t being run on July 4th any more”, said Kevin Harkins, President of Friends of the Norwich Bells. “I read a newspaper article that said the event had been cancelled due to, “”lack of interest””, and I went nuts”, Harkins said. “I thought to myself, where is our sense of history… where is our sense of patriotism… where is our sense?” Harkins added.
Harkins’s research led him to Truxton Brodhead, who had brought a dozen or so Boy Scouts to the capitol on July 4, 2004-2010 to ring the bell. Brodhead said he had cancelled the event in 2011 because nobody wanted to show up. Harkins said that he didn’t care if anyone showed up or not… “If it’s God’s will, that bell is going to be rung on July 4.” Mr. Brodhead heartily agreed to ring the bell if arrangements could be made.
Upon confirming that no other organizations planned to ring the replica Liberty Bell at the capitol, Mr. Harkins contacted the Office of Legislative Management. He submitted the necessary paperwork requesting his organization be permitted to perform the ceremony on Independence Day. “It must have been somebody’s will because we received approval early this afternoon”, Harkins said on Friday.
Connecticut’s replica of the original Liberty Bell is one of fifty-five commissioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in 1950 and distributed to all state capitols and territories. One went to the District of Columbia and one remained in Annecy, France where the bells were manufactured. Each replica weighs over a ton and sounds the exact same note as the original Liberty Bell.
In 1963, a joint resolution of Congress authorized the Let Freedom Ring National Bell Ringing Ceremony. On Wednesday, July 4, porters will wheel the big bell to the south doorway of the capitol. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, Truxton Brodhead will ring Connecticut’s Liberty Bell thirteen times in recognition of the thirteen original colonies. Interested members of the public are welcome to attend.
Friends of the Norwich Bells, founded in 2010, is a group of citizens promoting the preservation and enjoyment of bells and bell ringing in The Rose City. Several of the group’s members also belong to the New England Chapter of the American Bell Association and were involved in the casting of the nation’s first Emancipation Proclamation Bell that took place on June 15.
For more information about the ringing of the replica Liberty Bell at the State Capitol or to find out about Friends of the Norwich Bells, please visit,
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