August 19, 2018

Old Lyme Church to Ring Steeple Bell 59 Times This Evening in Memory of Las Vegas Dead; All Welcome to Attend, Express Need for Change

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme where the bell will be rung 59 times this evening starting at 6 p.m. in memory of each life lost in the Oct. 1 Las Vegas gun massacre.

In New England villages, bells were used as a way of drawing people out of their homes for public purposes. They were used to announce times of worship, celebration and mourning … but they were also used as a way of sounding an alarm, of calling a community to action.

As it was then, so it is now.

On Sunday, Oct. 8, at 6 p.m., the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme invites the entire community to join its members on the front lawn as the steeple bell is rung 59 times in memory of the individuals who lost their lives to the recent gun violence in Las Vegas, Nev. Opinion:

The bell tolls will not only remind us of each precious life lost on Oct. 1, but will also serve as an alarm, calling us to attention as a community. They will remind us that moments of pious silence — as some members of Congress would recommend — are not enough. We need to change. We need to improve our society.

The bell tolls will provide resonant, loud and insistent reminders of the insanity of firearms in this country. We need the clarion call of a bell to rouse us from our slumber. We need to change the way we live.

The bell will be sounded 59 times on Sunday evening … and again every time there is another ritualized mass shooting in America.

All are welcome Sunday evening at 6 p.m.



  1. Maybe you could identify which church? Old Lyme has several!

    • Thanks for pointing out our error, Jan — we’ve now corrected our article. We always appreciate readers pointing out any mistakes we make — thanks again!

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