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Bells will be ringing

Bells will be ringing, Annual 2017 Cape Cod Life |

Watercolor & Ink by Alexis Atwood • Grade 11, Falmouth High School

In conjunction with the bells, Chandler started fundraising for veterans, asking businesses and customers to contribute 4 percent of sales and purchases on the Fourth. “Instead of always looking up to the government, we can just do it,” Chandler says. “There’s no overhead to putting a bucket outside your business. It could be four cents or 40 cents or 40 dollars; it’s whatever you can give. The 4 percent is just a starting point—let’s do something.”

The Vineyard Haven Business Association has also joined the effort, with a goal of not only helping with the revival but also using it to raise money for island veterans, according to a press release. Bill Stafursky of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services’ Veterans Outreach Program is another supporter; his organization participated in bell ringing for the first time in 2016. He appreciates that the proceeds go directly into the hands of veterans to help with basic living expenses. “We’re able to help out with housing issues, that kind of thing,” he says. Stafursky hopes to see the movement spread across the islands and to the mainland, and he plans to create handouts and literature to help it grow across the state. “I see it as something we should be doing nationally,” he says. “It’s a small amount of time to stop and think about where we came from.”

As “Dear Abby” wrote in a 2013 column supporting the initiative: “Readers, engraved on the Liberty Bell are the words ‘Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof.’ So let’s do it. Shake any bell you happen to have. Our freedom is something to celebrate!”

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