Friday, June 29, 2007

Bell-ringing in Brooklyn to Celebrate the Nation's Birthday July 4



Brooklyn Bells to Ring July 4 in Celebration of the Country's 321st Birthday

BROOKLYN - Brooklyn residents are urged to "ring a bell" 13 times at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, to celebrate the nation's 231st birthday.

"It can be any kind of a bell," says Robert Buonvino, president of the Friends of Historic New Utrecht, based at the New Utrecht Reformed Church in Bensonhurst. "Church bells, bells in public buildings and towers throughout Brooklyn, even little bells rung by residents outside their homes," he added, "all showing the pride we have in our nation and how it bridges cultural, ethnic and religious lines."

This is the sixth year the non-sectarian, non-profit Friends organization has sounded the call for the Brooklyn bell-ringing to celebrate the Declaration of Independence and to take note of the original 13 colonies. The document was approved by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, but was not signed until almost a month later.

At the Bensonhurst church, a carillon will be played as the church building, which dates from 1828, undergoes a $2 million repair and restoration. "We look forward to when the work is done and the historic bell in the church tower can ring out again," Mr. Buonvino said.

The bell, first installed in the church's original structure, has been rung for centuries at times of the nation's grief and celebrations. They include the end of the Civil War and World Wars I and II, and upon the death of every president since George Washington in 1799. The church, a member of the Reformed Church in America (RCA), was established in New Utrecht in 1677.

America's independence also is symbolized by a liberty pole on the church's front lawn. Only the sixth to have been placed on the spot since the evacuation of the British in 1783, it stands 106 feet high with a liberty eagle on top. It's the last of its kind in the nation.

Persons interested in learning more about Brooklyn's early history, in the town of New Utrecht, are invited to call 1-718-256-7173 or 1-718-234-9268. They also can log onto the Friends of Historic New Utrecht's Web site at

PR services donated by
bhprEspeciallyForChurches July 2007


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