Le Mars Rings in New Tradition for Independence Day

LE MARS, Iowa  --  The city of Le Mars rang in a new Fourth of July tradition this year.

The newly-named Freedom Bell rang on Tuesday morning to celebrate Independence Day. The bell is located at the Plymouth County Veterans Memorial Park that was once home to Westmar College. Those who attended school in Le Mars think the annual bell ringing is just the thing to help commemorate the area.

"Alumni come through here all the time to Le Mars, they walk the campus, they stay in town. Adding the bell is really significant and it's another reason to come back."

On Tuesday, the bell rang 13 times in memory of the 13 original states, and for the 13 stripes on the flag. Thirteen celebrations are also planned throughout the year during which the Freedom Bell will ring; these include events commemorating the end of the Civil War, the ends of both World Wars, and Election Day.