(Chelsea Update would like to thank Joanne Ladio for the information and photos in this story.)
A small group of area residents, led by Lorin and Joe Kummer, gathered at North Lake Church last Sunday to ring the steeple bells for a special reason.
The National Park Service asked that all national parks, community partners and the public to join in a day of healing on Sunday by ringing a bell for four minutes. Aug. 25 marked the date 400 years ago that the first African Americans were brought to the New World as slaves. They landed at Point Comfort in 1619, in the English settlement that would become Virginia.
These people were traded by English pirates for food and so began the long, painful story of slavery and its effects – even to the present day.
Ringing for four minutes was one minute for every century that’s passed since Aug. 25, 1619.
The organizers of the event hope that this will begin a year of thoughtful discussions and increased understanding of the role that slavery played in our founding and growth.