July 20, 2018

Old Lyme Church Rings Bell 17 Times in Memory of Those Killed in Parkland, Fla.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme where the bell will be rung 17 times this afternoon in memory of the 17 individuals shot and killed in Parkland, Fla., last Wednesday.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) held a bell-ringing vigil on the front lawn of its church Sunday afternoon, Feb. 18, ringing the bell in its steeple 17 times, once for each of the victims of the recent mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.

In announcing the community vigil, FCCOL Senior Minister Steve Jungkeit said: “In times past, bells were used in small New England villages as a way of drawing people out of their homes to announce times of worship, celebration and mourning – but also as a way of sounding an alarm, of calling a community to action.”

He continued, “We invite the entire Old Lyme community to come out of their homes and join us, as we remember the 17 individuals who lost their lives to the recent gun violence in Parkland, Florida. The somber tolls will not only remind us of each precious life lost, they will also serve as an alarm, calling us to attention as a community – providing loud, resonant, insistent reminders of the insanity of firearms in this country.”

He concluded, “As a country, we need the clarion call of a bell to rouse us from our national slumber. We need to improve our society and change the way we live.”

The church held vigils after the mass shootings in Las Vegas, Nev., and Sutherland Springs, Texas.

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