Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Council President Ceasar Mitchell hosts bell ringing at City Hall in honor of March on Washington's 50th anniversary

Posted By on Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 10:09 AM

The March on Washington took place 50 years ago today. To commemorate the event, Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell has spent the week spreading the world about the bell ringing that he'll host later this afternoon. It'll happen in City Hall's atrium at 3:00 p.m. If you can't make it, there are other ways to participate.

In addition to the bell ringing, Mitchell has also penned an op-ed titled "A Single Act of Solidarity," which examines importance of the historical event. You can read his article below:

Certain events are so impactful that we can remember where we were and what we were doing when they occurred. Where were you when Barack Obama became the first African-American President of the United States? Can you remember your whereabouts when the world said goodbye to President John F. Kennedy and Michael Jackson? For the younger generations, where were you when Beyonce performed the Super Bowl halftime show (you remember!)? Whether lighthearted or difficult, every once in a while something monumental happens that captivates our hearts and inspires our souls. Sometimes it is an event in which everyone can play a part. Such an occasion is upon us now.

Today at 3:00 p.m., we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest moments in global history - the 1963 March On Washington during which Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his monumental "I Have A Dream" speech. Join me in support of the King Family and The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change as they host the official "Let Freedom Ring Bell-Ringing Ceremony." No matter where you are, you can participate in this special moment in history. Here's how:

-Stop right now and set the alarm on your cell phone to sound at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28. This is something that practically everyone can do. You can even download a bell ringing app at

-If your schedule allows, join me and others in the atrium of Atlanta City Hall on the 28th at 2:30 p.m. I will host a very brief program culminating with a bell-ringing ceremony lasting 15 seconds at exactly 3:00 p.m.

-Organize your own bell-ringing event in your state, city, community, school, workplace, or even your home.

The March On Washington was an event that marked history and advanced the cause of Civil and Human Rights. Imagine how different our nation might be had the March never taken place. Although we still face many challenges as a country, what if the social change catalyzed by the civil rights movement had never manifested? But let us also imagine our world 50 years from now if we fail to weave together the threads of unity that create the tapestry of Dr. King's beloved community. Only through working together can we achieve the alignment of heart and mind that will reaffirm our interconnectedness and inspire the creativity and innovation which has made our country great.

To that end, let us all take a few seconds to acknowledge the significance of the March on Washington by engaging in a single act of solidarity. Let's create an inspirational moment in time that we can reflect upon with our family, friends and colleagues. Share your plans to let freedom ring within your social media circle using the hashtag #MLKBellsATL. Encourage everyone in your reach to participate in a manner acceptable for them. If you are not in Atlanta, feel free to change the end of the hashtag to reflect your locale. Let's come together and commemorate history and be inspired for the future... LET FREEDOM RING!

Ceasar C. Mitchell is President of the Atlanta City Council.

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