LET FREEDOM RING

After such a Spirited and profoundly inspirational First Baptist Church 240 year Anniversary Worship Service on Sunday, October 16, 2016, I was divinely moved to express my perspective feelings regarding our Freedom Bell, and the "Let Freedom Ring" initiative. I am an exemplary proud member and Trustee at the Historical First Baptist Church at 727 West Scotland Street, Williamsburg, Virginia. I was enthusiastically elated for the opportunity my Wife and I had, along with other Church members to ring the Freedom bell after Worship Service on Sunday, January 31, 2016. We did so with reverence, anticipation, emotions, and humility. For the first time in 50 years the First Baptist Church Freedom bell rang out loud and true advocating a call for Freedom and Hope. Further, we were grateful for the opportunity to be present at the "Let Freedom Ring" ceremony held at the Church on Monday, February 1, 2016, and witness the individual, and collective ringing of the bell by descendants of Thomas Jefferson, political and celebrity guests, representatives from Colonial Williamsburg, and community personnel.

During the month of February, along with other dedicated and committed Church members, I was again fortunate to witness, and experience the joy, elation, enthusiasm, and emotions Of 4,000 plus who came from near and far to ring the Freedom bell. I was greatly honored and appreciative to be a part of a small group of First Baptist Church members, our Pastor with his Wife and younger Son Joel, representatives and press personnel from Colonial Williamsburg and the Virginia Gazette, who accompanied the bell from the Church to the African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington, DC on September 21,2016 which was rung during the opening ceremony September 24, 2016 by the first African American President and our Nation's First Lady. The underlying theme associated with the bell is "Let Freedom Ring", which alludes to letting freedom ring for the Hope of dispelling and alleviating some of the hatred, bigotry, racism, discrimination, disparate treatment, divisiveness, injustices, and double standards. It also alludes to letting Freedom ring with the hope of instilling, and promoting more Love, Peace, Understanding, Positive Communication, Unity, and Togetherness among the people of our nation and the people of the world at large. Yes, for me and my Wife, ringing the Freedom Bell was a humbling experience, however, as a people, and as a Nation we do not readily humble ourselves when humility is required. I am a firm believer that when well placed,
and properly exercised, Humility can be personal, private, public, economical, political, professional, and Spiritual attributes. If we are to sustain ourselves as a people, and as a Nation, at a minimum, the attributes of Love, Peace, Understanding, Positive Communication, Unity, and Togetherness
must be the practiced order of the day. Further, those attributes must dwell within the homes, resonate within the Churches, the schools, the workplace, our communities, and among the people, and leaders of our nation and the people and leaders of the world. Let Freedom ring not only in Williamsburg, Virginia and Washington, DC, let Freedom ring throughout our Nation and the nations of the world.

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