“Is that what you were talking about?” Charlotte Altomare said.
“Yes, there it is!” Her husband, Jack, said. “It’s a replica of the Liberty Bell. I’ve been wanting to come see this since we moved back. I used to come to this park quite often when I was a kid. Wait until you hear the sound this thing makes!”
They continued walking along the paved trail that led to where the large bell was located. There was a metal plaque attached to the concrete just below. Charlotte leaned over it and read the words on the plaque aloud:
“Dedicated to you, a free citizen in a free land.” She said. “The dimensions and tone are identical with those of the original Liberty Bell when it rang out our independence in 1776. In standing before this symbol, you have the opportunity to dedicate yourself, as did our Founding Fathers, to the principles of the individual freedom for which our nation stands. This bell is one of fifty-three cast in France in 1950 and given to the United States Government.”
“Wait.” Jack said. “Something’s wrong.”
“What’s wrong?” She said.
“Look, it’s all different! They’ve placed it on a metal stand so that you can’t ring the bell anymore!” He said.
“I don’t understand, it–”
“When I was a kid you could come here and ring the bell. But now you can’t, they’ve changed it!”
Charlotte quickly realized what he meant. The large bell was now resting on two long pieces of metal that had been welded into place to keep it stationary.
“Oh my God, you’re right!” She said. “Why would they do that?”
“I don’t know.” Jack said. “It never used to be this way.”
“I believe you.” Charlotte said.
* * * * *
[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]
© 2012, 2013 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved