I was in Allentown last month, and stepped out of Bell Hall after a good dinner and walked a bit with friends before noticing the “Liberty Bell Shrine” basically next door.

Because we were solidly into the evening, Liberty Bell Shrine was locked for the night on this stretch of the main stretch of Allentown that doesn’t seem particularly lively after dark—at least not in community-building and confidence-inspiring ways. Still, it was great to run into this place. The historical plaques I snapped tell the story to some degree, and one of them was placed by the Sons of the American Revolution a while ago.

The Liberty Bell, a symbol of the nascent fight for independence during the American Revolution, was brought to Allentown at some point during the war for safekeeping. I don’t remember the specifics, but I remember the fear was that the British would seize upon it to melt it down for ammunition as much as for the practical purpose of destroying a symbol of colonial rebellion.

Little chapters of our great, common history.