DEAR ABBY: At 2 p.m., July Fourth, I would love nothing better than for all Americans to stop briefly and give our country a ring ... well, THREE rings to be exact.
On July 4, 1963, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed the ringing of bells nationwide with the words, "Let's ring freedom bells!" I was a White House aide then, and I vividly recall how exciting it was when bells rang across the nation coast to coast. Since then, many Americans have forgotten to keep the tradition going. Let's start again!
From one American to another, I ask all citizens to help me revive the ringing of bells at 2 p.m. this July Fourth in celebration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. It's easy. Ring a bell, shake your keys, tap a glass or find a bell-ringing app on your smartphone. It will give our country a much-needed sense of unity and connection to our past as one nation, one people.
The Ironworkers, Sheet Metal Workers and Firefighters International Unions of the AFL-CIO, The National Cartoonists Society and Malmark Inc. have joined with No Greater Love in this special celebration of our freedom and the guardians who protect us -- our troops, firefighters and police.
Please, Abby, make your millions of readers aware of this effort. As inscribed on the Liberty Bell, "Let us proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." -- CARMELLA LASPADA, FOUNDER, NO GREATER LOVE
DEAR CARMELLA: I'm glad to help. I agree that shared traditions are the glue that binds us together as a nation. So readers, on July Fourth, take a moment to quietly reflect on what this holiday is all about. Then make a joyful noise and thank God for his blessings on our country and the freedoms we enjoy today. That's the American spirit!