“Let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
“….From every mountainside, let freedom ring. And when this happens, when we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’
We’ve all heard it. The great Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. in his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. If you’ve been lucky enough to see or hear a recording of Dr. King himself, then I’m sure you’d agree it sends chills down your spine. Even for those who have never known the tyranny or oppression of the Civil Rights era.
Now I want you to take a step back, and listen for a second. All the way back to this day in 1835. I realize that 177 years is a long time, but if you sit real still, you’ll be able to hear it. No, it’s not freedom….it’s a bell. More specifically, the Liberty Bell, and it’s ringing (for the last time before it cracked) in memory of John Marshall, the longest serving Chief Justice of the United States. Can you hear it? Listen closely. That, my friends, is the sound that Dr. King was talking about.
The voices of a mighty chorus of men and women who have been joining together for over two centuries to protect what we take for granted every day, our freedom, were contained in that mighty bell. It was there the day our Declaration of Independence was read out for all to hear; and it rang out loud and long, a symbol of hope and courage. The day it cracked, those voices were released, sent to roam from hilltops to mountains, embodied by those who like Dr. King, believed in a better tomorrow.