Proclamation 5509 -- Let Freedom Ring Day, 1986

July 2, 1986

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

For centuries, great occasions have been marked by the ringing of bells. When America's Independence was proclaimed in Philadelphia more than two centuries ago, the Liberty Bell announced the glad news -- those joyful and triumphant words of Leviticus graven on the bell itself:

``Proclaim liberty throughout the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof.''

On July 3, the eve of the 210th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the torch of the newly restored Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor will be lit again. Its radiant beams held high above the dark waters will once again signal freedom's light and freedom's welcome.

What could be more fitting than to celebrate this moment with the joyful clamor of bells. Let every spire and belfry in the land ring out the glad tidings of liberty once again. Let every American rejoice in the blessings of freedom as they hear the jubilant music of carillons carried on the night air. As the golden glow of the Statue of Liberty's rekindled torch calls forth the pealing of thousands of bells in every city, village, and hamlet throughout our land, let every American take it as a summons to rededication, recalling those words we sang as children:

``Our father's God, to Thee, Author of Liberty, To Thee we sing,

Long may our land be bright With Freedom's Holy Light.

Protect us by Thy might, Great God, Our King.''

The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 664, has designated July 3, 1986, as ``Let Freedom Ring Day'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 3, 1986, as Let Freedom Ring Day, and I encourage the people of the United States to ring bells immediately following the relighting of the torch of the Statue of Liberty, which is scheduled to occur at approximately 10:53 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on that day. I call upon all Americans to remember how fortunate we are as a people and on this day and each day to follow to open your hearts to those who may one day share in the joy and satisfaction that freedom brings.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 2nd day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:19 a.m., July 3, 1986]