Freedom rings from capitol hill

President of Juneau’s Black Awareness Association Sherry Patterson leads the crowd in cheers. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Participants bring a variety of bells. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

People get their cell phones ready to ring at 11 am. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO0

Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO

Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO

Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO

Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO

Organizer Lin Davis brings a cow bell and a bear bell. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

During the bell ringing, Juneau Police Department sound a siren. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO

After the bell ringing, the crowd join hands and sing ‘We Shall Overcome.’ (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO


Bells rang in the capital city at 11 am today to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

About 40 Juneau residents gathered at the Dimond Courthouse plaza in front of the state capitol. After a brief introduction by the president of Juneau’s Black Awareness Association Sherry Patterson, participants rang cow bells, bear bells, cell phones, Buddhist bells, keys, tambourines, and bike bells. Juneau Police Department added a police car siren.

Bell ringing events took place today all over the country, but when Lin Davis realized last week there was none planned in Alaska, she decided to organize one.

“It’s certainly wonderful to be part of a national bell ringing where we acknowledge the civil rights pioneers that have so changed our life and starting with all those marchers in 1963 and then all the brave acts that came forward from that. As a member of the LGBT community, we wouldn’t have had our role models and mentors without the civil rights movement,” Davis said.

After the bell ringing, the crowd joined hands in a circle and sang ‘We Shall Overcome.’

50th anniversary celebration events continue at 5 pm tonight at the Douglas Library.