Kutztown Mayor Jim Schlegel issued a proclamation declaring May 2 as Bells Across Pennsylvania Day to recognize essential workers as 'hometown heroes.'
Schlegel presented the proclamation at the April 20 virtual Borough Council meeting, asking residents to ring bells or make celebratory noise for three minutes at 7 p.m. on May 2.
"Thank you, Mayor. Well done," said Council President Kevin Snyder.
Schlegel issued the proclamation in support of a second annual statewide Bells Across Pennsylvania Day, an initiative of the Pennsylvania State Mayors’ Association which will take place on May 2.
The purpose of the initiative is One: to recognize and honor first responders, healthcare workers, and employees of grocery stores, pharmacies and other life-sustaining businesses who have maintained essential services while at risk of infection from COVID-19; Two: to show solidarity with elected officials and residents of municipalities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, all of whom are fighting COVID-19 on the frontlines together; and Three: to demonstrate a collective resolve that Pennsylvanians will prevail over COVID-19 and work tirelessly to ensure that their businesses and civic life will thrive once again.
On May 2, at 7 p.m., all Pennsylvanians and churches will be encouraged to ring bells for three minutes — one minute for each of the three purposes.
"A statewide disaster emergency was proclaimed on March 6, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic necessitating all Pennsylvania residents to shelter in place, businesses to close or curtail their activities; and social events to be canceled," read Schlegel. "Despite all of the efforts of state, county, and municipal governments to mitigate the effects of this pandemic, to date, over one million Pennsylvanians have been afflicted with COVID-19, and 24,972 Pennsylvanians have died from it."
Schlegel continued, "In every municipality, there have been emergency medical personnel, firefighters, police officers, and employees of grocery stores and pharmacies, utility workers and other life-sustaining businesses who have braved the viral elements, at the expense of themselves and their families, to maintain essential services to the general public sheltering in place and are deserving of recognition as 'hometown heroes.'"
Elected officials across the state joined together to promote a second annual statewide Bells Across Pennsylvania, which Kutztown Borough will once again participate as it did last year.
The event will be an "expression of gratitude to these hometown heroes, solidarity with other Pennsylvanians on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battlefield and determination that their municipal businesses and civic-life will thrive once again."
"Since days of the American Revolution, the bell has served as an instrument for expressing communal gratitude, camaraderie and resolve, and is a means well-suited for Pennsylvanians sheltering in place to demonstrate such values," read Schlegel.
As Kutztown's Mayor, in concert with Borough Council, Schlegel officially proclaimed Sunday, May 2, 2021 as Bells Across Pennsylvania Day, calling on all residents, businesses and churches, to ring bells or make other celebratory noise at 7 p.m. for three minutes "to honor their hometown heroes, rally with other Pennsylvanians on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battlefield, and show resolve to restore their local businesses and civic life to their former prominence."