Huge Success at the 76th Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremonies

 

The Spirt of Liberty Foundation successfully completed its visit to Hawaii for the 76th Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremonies. We also brought, for the second year in a row,  the oldest living Pearl Harbor Attack survivor Ray Chavez, 105 years old to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for the ceremonies. 

The visit kicked off with the Opening Bell Ringing Ceremony of America’s Freedom Bell on December 6 at the USS Bowfin Museum and Park. The ceremony’s guests included Congressional and mayoral Representatives from Hawaii and Admiral William Greene of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet. The guest of honor was 96 year old Pearl  Harbor Attack survivor and US Navy Veteran Delton Walling who officially closed the ceremony by being the first person to ring The Freedom Bell. 

Mr. Walling also shared moving remarks about his first hand experience during the attack on December 7, 1941 and the strength and resolve his unit showed during and after they attack. He said the only thing we could think about was just doing our job.”

After the ceremony, hundreds of attendees lined up to ring the Freedom Bell on behalf of a family member or a friend who served or is serving in our Armed Forces.

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation’s America’s Santa stood beside the Freedom Bell where attendees took the opportunity to take pictures with him. America’s Santa wore his special Official Army camouflage uniform with white fur—which was a hit with the crowds and broadened many smiles.  

America’s Santa has visited American troops in military hospitals Worldwide in Iraq, Afghanistan, US military bases in Europe and even Guantanamo Bay.

On the following day, December 7—the Spirit of Liberty Foundation opened up America’s Freedom Bell for visitors to ring. We expected several hundred people to ring the Freedom Bell, but boy—were we surprised! 

Over 1,000 visitors rung the Freedom Bell throughout the day as they shared moving stories about those they rung the Freedom Bell on behalf of.  

We ended the day by participating at the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, where tens of thousands of spectators gathered alongside the main road in Waikiki—Kalakaua Avenue—to view the floats. 

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation’s Float lead the parade, carrying a waving America’s Santa who extracted loud cheers as he passed by. 

We wound up our trip with a bang! First, we kicked off the day with a meeting at the Hawaii State Capitol with Governor David Ige of Hawaii. 

In the meting, the Foundation’s Chairman Richard Rovsek and America’s Santa briefed Governor Ige on the Foundation’s mission to help veterans and their families. They also presented the first edition copy of “The  Night Before Christmas”, 1823, to the Governor. 

After the Governor’s meeting we visited Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu with Ray Chavez, the oldest living Pearl Harbor Attack Survivor and America’s Santa for a Christmas luncheon. Both were well received by the troops—they  couldn’t get enough of both of them and often came back to  take more pictures and share more stories.

America’s Santa along with Chairman of the Foundation Richard Rovsek also visited the pediatric center at Tripler—where America’s Santa read from the first edition copy of “The Night Before Christmas” to the patients.  

We want to thank American Airlines for being the Official Carrier of America’s Freedom Bell. American Airlines proudly carried America’s Freedom Bell from Arlington National cemetery to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for the Ceremonies.

Additionally, Hawaiian Airlines supported all travel for the Foundation’s entire staff. We also thank The Kahala Hotel & Resort and Firestone for being invaluable supporters for the foundation as well. 

This year we also send Special Christmas Ornaments to all veterans living in VA homes. The ornaments have the five Official seals of the Armed Forces. 

Thank you for all the support we have received from you. We look forward with anxious anticipation to 2018 when we will expand the Spirit of Liberty Foundation’s programs and services. 

We wish you a Happy Holidays and a very Christmas and we’d love to hear from you  as the year ends. 

Lastly, as the year ends please consider making a contribution to Spirit of Liberty Foundation Federal Tax ID 13-3586119. 

Successful Day at Arlington National Cemetery for Veterans Day Ceremonies

 

Crowds gather to ring America’s Freedom Bell and watch Artist Scott LoBiado paint.

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation honored members of the Armed Forces, Veterans and their Families on November 9, 2017 at Arlington National Cemetery during the Veterans Day ceremonies.

We brought America’s Freedom Bell where thousands of attendees saw and rang the bell to honor those who’ve served and are serving.

Next to Freedom Bell was renown American patriotic artist Scott LoBaido of New York — who completed a dramatic 4×6 canvas of a caisson pulling an American flag draped casket, escorted by a military procession. Above was a sky resembling the colors of the American flag.

Artist Scott LoBaido painting the 4×6 Canvas

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation is thankful for the support from Arlington National Cemetery who made history by allowing the first artist ever to paint there, and for partnering with the Spirit of Liberty Foundation for the 6th year in a row.

God Bless America, and may God Bless our Armed Forces.

Lastly, as the year ends please consider making a contribution to Spirit of Liberty Foundation Federal Tax ID 13-3586119. 

National Flag Day and Birthday of the United States Army – 2016

National Flag Day and Birthday of the United States Army – 2016

On June 14th 2016, The Spirit of Liberty Foundation’s Freedom Bell celebrated the American flag and the United States Army’s 241st birthday at the historic Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Flag Day.

The American flag is the symbol of our Nation, our liberties, and our freedom. As such, this makes Flag Day one of the most important and patriotic holidays in our Nation.

We honor this day to celebrate the men and women who risk their lives and to remember those who lost their lives to uphold American Liberties and freedom.

Each year the Ceremony takes place in Philadelphia, which is considered the birthplace of America, and it begins with the symbolic raising of the American flag at the National Constitution Center, where the Flag Day parade begins.

American’s Freedom Bell was again the centerpiece of Ceremony, in the place of honor in front of Independence Hall. Tens of thousands of Americans rang the bell throughout the day and were ably assisted by the Boy Scouts of America.

This includes high-profile leaders, dignitaries, and Army officers, of which was a 4-star General.

The climax of the ceremony was the spectacular Spirit of Liberty Foundation’s Fastrax Professional Skydive Team, who descended upon the Hall with our 40ft American flags. 

Independence National Historical Park, the Spirit of Liberty Foundation, and additional organizations know that this is an event that resonates with millions of Americans, as it honors the birth of our Nation’s flag and the first branch of our Armed Forces.

Help make a difference in our Armed Forces in the past, present, and future, by making a donation to our great mission.

God Bless America and Our Armed Forces and ring America’s Freedom Bell!

Historic D-Day Ceremonies – 2016

Historic D-Day Ceremonies – 2016


 

June 6, 2016 was a very emotional time for those involved in the 72nd D-Day Anniversary Ceremonies in Normandy, France. Eighty-three World War II veterans watched as the Spirit odf Liberty Foundation’s American’s Freedom Bell was rung to honor all of the brave Allies who lost their lives on that fateful day in 1944.

David Montgomery, 2nd Viscount of Alamein and son of World War II Field Marshall Bernard “Monty” Montgomery

and

Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of Dwight D. Eisenhower,

also paid tribute to the fallen allies of D-Day by ringing America’s Freedom Bell.

Spirit of Liberty Foundation Reflections

Spirit of Liberty Foundation Year in Review


 

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation’s America’s Freedom Bell continued to touch the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans, especially those who continue to support our Armed Forces in the past, present, and future.

Among the Bell’s 2015 highlights:

 On June 14th, it was the centerpiece at Independence Hall to celebrate Flag Day. Not only does it commemorate the adoption of our American flag, it’s the day when the U.S. Army was established and when the Freedom Bell was first unveiled to the world.

On May 29th, the Bell had a Place of Honor at the Memorial Day Ceremonies in Washington D.C. It took place inside the World War II Memorial on the National Mall. This ceremony also celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II.

On July 27th, It was the centerpiece of the Korean War Memorial’s 62nd anniversary of the Armistice Day Commemoration, as well as the 20th dedication of the Korean War Memorial. Ahn Ho-young, Ambassador of South Korea, and Kim Moo-sung, Leader of the Saenuri Party in South Korea, joined American and Korean veterans in the ringing the Bell.

On November 11th, the Bell was once again part of the National Veterans Day Ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery. At the event, President Barack Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Richard Rovsek, the Spirit of Liberty Foundation’s Chairman, attended the White House for the Veterans Day Breakfast and was part of the President’s group who attended the ceremony.

The year ended for us on December 7th, with the Freedom Bell at the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremonies. Pearl Harbor survivor, CSM USN Delton E. Waling) rang the Bell with thousands.

Over 2.5 million Americans have rang America’s Freedom Bell

Because of its popularity, we’ve been invited to have the Freedom Bell bell in to be part of the Normandy D-Day Ceremony for 2016. Our hope is that we’ll procure a sponsorship in order in time do this event.

 

Foundation’s First Armed Forces Ornament

The Foundation created and tested our first official Armed Forces Ornament that carries the Official Emblems for each military branch of our Armed Forces.

As part of the initial launch, these ornaments have been engraved with the names  of the living Medal of Honor Recipients. Additionally, these ornaments will be presented to them by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.

Also as part of the launch, we have established a relationship with the Department of Veteran Affairs. For every ornament sold in retail, one will be given to a Veteran – and there at least 50,000 veterans who reside at homes that are part of Veteran Affairs.

With that being said, we hope that we can count on your support by purchasing these ornaments. They are an excellent display to have at home, in your office, or any holiday for that matter! To order, here is the link to our site.

Operation Christmas Miracle – The Believe in Santa Tour

We completed our 15th annual Operation Christmas Miracle – The Believe in Santa Tour with a visit to our troops in Germany. This includes a visit to the Landstuhl Military Hospital with America’s Santa, who came bearing gifts for everyone. Some of which were footballs that were personally signed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

One of the most emotional moments we had on the trip was when America’s read the original “Twas the night before Christmas” to our troops, where you can see tears streaming on some of their faces. According to them, it made them think of home for a few moments.

Supporting Paris

We also made a very special stop in Paris, to support are allies from abroad. With the help of Jane Hartley, the American Ambassador to France, we visited the sites of carnage the November 13th tragedy left behind, where 129 people were killed by terrorists. At each these sites, we laid a patriotic wreath that was handcrafted by our veterans. This wouldn’t have been possible without your help. This of course includes our patriotic supporters, sponsors, and organizations.

For that, we thank you and hope to have your continued support for our endeavors for the future.

If you haven’t had that opportunity, don’t hesitate to make a difference and donate to a great cause.

Without further ado, God Bless America and our Armed Forces

International Korean War Armistice Ceremonies at the Korean War Veterans Memorial – 2015

International Korean War Armistice Ceremonies at the Korean War Veterans Memorial – 2015


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The Spirit of Liberty Foundation’s America’s Freedom Bell held the Place of Honor at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., for the International Korean War Armistice Ceremonies this past Saturday, Sunday and Monday. It was an extremely emotional and historic weekend of events, and we were honored to be a part of them.

We had the pleasure of working with the Korean War Veterans Association and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to commemorate the end of the Korean War and to celebrate the bonds between the United States and South Korea. The reception of the Bell was overwhelmingly positive as people recognized and embraced the importance of honoring the Veterans who served and sacrificed in the Korean War. Their selfless service resulted in a free and democratic South Korea that is today a leading world economic power and an important partner of America.

We would like to thank the Korean War Veterans Association, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the National Park Service, and all those who came out for making America’s Freedom Bell’s visit possible and truly special!

The 240th Birthday of the US Army and Flag Day at Independence Hall

The 240th Birthday of the US Army and

Flag Day at Independence Hall


We were so honored to be a part of the 240th Birthday of the US Army, Flag Day and America’s Freedom Bell’s 2nd Birthday Celebrations at historic Independence Hall and Christ Church on Sunday, June 14th!

America’s Freedom Bell held the Place of Honor in front of Independence Hall on Saturday and Sunday where thousands of people came to see and ring it in honor of a friend or family member who has served or is serving, or just to say thank you to the Armed Forces.

To top off the Ceremony at Independence Hall, the Team Fastrax skydivers unfurled giant American Flags on to the lawn to the awe of all of the onlookers!

After the Ceremony at Independence Hall, The Spirit of Liberty Foundation hosted a memorable Birthday Celebration at Christ Church with a spectacular US Army Birthday Cake and a special toast to the US Army.

America’s Freedom Bell – 2015

America’s Freedom Bell – 2015


 

America’s Freedom Bell was conceived on May 15th, 2013 cast on June 6th, 2013, the 69th Anniversary of D-Day with full Military Honors. America’s Freedom Bell contains metal from the 9/11 Twin Towers certified by the New York Fire Commissioner. America’s Freedom Bell was cast by the world-renowned and America’s premier Bell Foundry, The Verdin Company, which has been family-owned since 1842.

America’s Freedom Bell has the Official Emblem of each branch of the Armed Forces embossed and circling the Bell in the order of their founding: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and the Coast Guard, and is inscribed with the words:

HONORING OUR ARMED FORCES
PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

and has 50 Stars representing the Nation, on the Bell’s lip.

America’s Freedom Bell has been at: World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C., Memorial Day Weekend Ceremonies, Independence Hall where the Freedom Bell was unveiled on Flag Day on June 14 and also the Birthday of the Army, U.S.S. Midway in San Diego on Independence Day, The World War II Memorial in New York on the Anniversary of 9/11, Arlington National Cemetery for Veterans Day Ceremonies, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Ceremonies, Indy 500 Events,  Army/Navy Football Game and numerous other high profile Ceremonies and events. 

Every American is invited to ring America’s Freedom Bell in honor of a family member or friend who has served or is serving in the Armed Forces, or to say thank you in support of our Troops!

Operation Christmas Miracle – The Believe in Santa Tour 2015

Operation Christmas Miracle –

The Believe in Santa Tour 2015


The Spirit of Liberty Foundation’s annual Operation Christmas Miracle: The Believe in Santa Tour brings the spirit of Christmas to our Wounded Warriors and their families in military hospitals and bases across the Nation and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our 13th annual Operation Christmas Miracle: The Believe in Santa Tour in 2014 was a huge success! The Foundation brought the spirit and magic of Christmas to the American Heroes in our Armed Forces and their families at:

  • Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba
  • Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Balboa Naval Hospital, San Diego, California
  • Wounded Warrior Regiment, Camp Pendleton, California
  • Snowball Express, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

With the generous participation from Members of Congress, past Presidents, and CEO’s of various Fortune 500 companies, the Spirit of Liberty Foundation brought our American Heroes in the Armed Forces and their families a variety of gifts and Christmas cards as a simple way to say “thank you” for their service.

This note from Mr. Richard Burkett was received on December 19th, 2014, the day after we visited those wounded in combat at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and indicates how important the participation of everyone involved is:

Thank you very much for the thoughtful and helpful notes, cards, and gifts.  It is nice to know that there are a few leaders in the House and Senate that care enough to send their well wishes to the warriors recovering at Walter Reed, as well as help make the Christmas Season a little (or a lot) easier on the wallet. Thank you from the Burketts, all six of us! 

Thankfully yours,

Richard Burkett, USMC

Patriots Tour 2015

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation’s

Patriots Tour – 2015


 

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation’s Patriots Tour will begin with America’s Freedom Bell being a major participant in the historic 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II in Washington D.C. This is one of the most important events in our Capitol this year.

The bell will appropriately be at the National World War II Memorial and the National Mall in Washington D.C. this Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2015.

The number of visitors to the Mall on this important day to honor our Armed Forces exceeds 2 million and the bell will be there for the entire weekend—Friday, May 22nd, Saturday, May 23rd, Sunday, May 24th, and Monday, May 25th.

America’s Freedom Bell will be staffed by the Foundation’s “Star Team” of wounded warriors and everyone who visits the Mall will be invited to ring the bell to honor a family member or Friend who has or is serving or just to say thank you to our Armed Forces.

Those who ring the bell will be given an America’s Freedom Bell postcard to send to someone or to have as a keepsake indicating that they rang the Bell and for whom.

We are working with the History Channel to record the “Greatest Generation,” our World War II Veterans’ stories and messages, as they ring the bell. Additionally, Members of Congress and the Department of Defense will be encouraged to participate and ring America’s Freedom Bell.

From the Washington D.C. visit, the bell will travel to:

  • Vernon, Virginia
  • Richmond, visiting the Capital Virginia
  • Annapolis, visiting the Capital of Maryland and The Naval Academy
  • Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Dover, visiting the Capital of Delaware
  • Valley Forge, Philadelphia
  • Trenton, visiting the Capital of New Jersey

The culmination of The Patriots Tour will be in Philadelphia, the birthplace of the Nation. Specifically, America’s Freedom Bell will return to Independence Hall where it was unveiled on National Television on June 14th, 2013. Independence Hall is where the 56 Patriots signed the Declaration of Independence.

The Bell will be at this historic location on Friday, June 12th, 2015, and the official Flag Day Ceremony and the celebration of the Army’s Birthday will be on Sunday, June 14th, 2015.

The Ceremony will include a flag raising at the National Constitution Center, a parade with the Continental Army Cavalry and the Revolutionary War Soldiers marching across the Mall, and culminate in front of Independence Hall for the formal celebration with America’s Leaders. Performances will continue throughout the afternoon with the Army Bands, the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard, the Colonial Fife and Drum and the US Army Silent Drill team. The finale will be the Spirit of Liberty Foundation’s Sky Dive Team unfurling huge American flags and landing on the Mall.