HARKER HEIGHTS — President John F. Kennedy made a proclamation on Independence Day, July 4, 1963.

With the words, “Let’s ring freedom bells,” the nationwide ringing of the bells began.

But it wasn’t until last year that Joyce Mayer read a Dear Abby column and discovered the proclamation and wondered if Heights could add the tradition to its citywide Independence Day celebration.

“I just felt like it was an easy, simple way to celebrate the freedoms we have in America,” Mayer said. “I emailed the City Council and asked if they would consider it.”

Event coordinator Nichole Broemer loved the idea, mostly owing to its simplicity.

“We can do that here for no cost,” she said.

Meyer said she was shocked when a short time later, Heights’ Mayor Rob Robinson presented a proclamation stating the city would add the tradition.

The basic premise is to ring “freedom bells” 13 times to honor the 13 original colonies, while towns and cities across the nation do the same — simultaneously at

1 p.m.

“When it was my brought to my attention, I knew it would be an instant hit,” Robinson said.

According to Mayer, the mayor was right. She said the diversity of the audience at City Hall on Friday really took her by surprise.

“We had young adults, teens, and senior citizens all here, together to celebrate our nation’s birthday.”

A bell choir was created to perform the ringing while onlookers rang their own bells.

Leslie Holman offered the services of a few of the members of the Joyful Noise bell choir from Harker Heights United Methodist Church, and Meyer quickly accepted.

“When she said it, I knew she was kidding, but I thought it was a wonderful idea,” Mayer said.

Contact James Harper at jharper@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7554.​

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.