America’s Freedom Bell Rings to Honor the Veterans in the 116th Congress
America’s Freedom Bell, cast in bronze and forged with steel from the World Trade Center to ring in honor of all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, will ring July 21, 2019 in honor of the 96 members of the 116th Congress who have also served in their country’s military at the Bell’s new permanent home, the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park in San Diego.
America’s Freedom Bell will be rung every two years to honor members of the current Senate and House of Representatives that are veterans. July 21 was chosen to also commemorate the date of the founding of the Department of Veterans Affairs. America’s Freedom Bell will be rung by a U.S. military veteran as each Representative’s name is read. The name will then be placed on a separate segment of America’s Patriots Honor Roll, which will be maintained in perpetuity.
“Americans ring the Bell to honor their loved ones who have served this nation,” says Spirit of Liberty Foundation founder and creator of the Bell, Richard Rovsek. “Members of Congress who are veterans have served this country twice over, and we wanted to salute that dedication in a distinctive way.”
“Only a veteran knows what other veterans have gone through, which is why it’s so important to have veterans in Congress, weighing the risks of war and deciding how best to care for veterans afterwards,” says Robert Wilkie, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. “My thanks to Richard Rovsek and the Spirit of Liberty Foundation for paying our current veterans in Congress this honor.”
Not only will the Spirit of Liberty be honoring these members of Congress, but every day will also ring the Bell for two out of the 3,500 Medal of Honor Recipients, our nation’s highest accommodation for these heroes, who risked their lives to protect our freedoms and liberties.
Additionally, beginning July 21, 2019, all Americans will have the opportunity to honor the military heroes in their lives, family or friends, by having America’s Freedom Bell rung and their heroes’ names placed on America’s Patriots Honor Roll.
ABOUT AMERICA’S FREEDOM BELL
America’s Freedom Bell was cast on June 6th, 2013, the 69th Anniversary of D-Day, with full military honors. It contains metal from the 9/11 Twin Towers certified by the New York Fire Commissioner, and has the official emblem of each branch of the Armed Forces embossed and circling the Bell in the order of their founding: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and the Coast Guard. It is inscribed with the words: HONORING OUR ARMED FORCES PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE, and has 50 stars representing the nation on the lip. America’s Freedom Bell has visited the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C., Independence Hall, the USS Midway in San Diego, The World War II Memorial in New York on the Anniversary of 9/11, and numerous other high-profile ceremonies and events. Since its inception, the Bell has been rung by over 5 million people in honor of loved ones who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. When the Bell is not traveling, it has a prestigious permanent home at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park in San Diego. For more information, please visit www.spiritoflibertyfoundation.org
ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
The Department of Veterans Affairs aims to provide Veterans the world-class benefits and services they have earned by adhering to the highest standards of compassion, commitment, excellence, professionalism, integrity, accountability, and stewardship. Their mission is to fulfill President Lincoln’s promise, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan,” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ core values include integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence. For more information, please visit www.va.gov
ABOUT THE MEDAL OF HONOR
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Medal is generally presented to Recipients by the President of the United States. Today, there are 3,500 Medal of Honor Recipients, including 72 still living and 19 who received the Medal of Honor twice. For more information, please visit www.themedalofhonor.com
ABOUT THE VETERANS MUSEUM
The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park is operated by the Veterans Memorial Center, Inc., a public charitable trust formed to honor and perpetuate the memories of all men and women who have served in the United states Armed Forces. Today, the Museum occupies the former Chapel of the Balboa Naval Hospital, with its legacy architecture and stained-glass windows preserved intact, to dramatically display a unique collection of artifacts, memorabilia, artwork and papers, and provide a prestigious venue for private events and official ceremonies of Active Duty Military Units, whose Members choose to be promoted, re-enlisted, commissioned or retired in full honors.
For more information, please visit www.veteranmuseum.org