In Honor of the World Peace Bell and the City of Newport, Kentucky
Mr. LUCAS of Kentucky. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the city of Newport, Kentucky, where the World Peace Bell arrived at its permanent home this weekend. At 12 feet in diameter and 12 feet in height, the bell weighs 66,000 pounds. It is the world's largest swinging bell. I also rise to recognize Wayne Carlisle for his vision, commitment, and enthusiasm, without which the World Peace Bell would not have been possible.
The World Peace Bell is a powerful symbol of freedom and peace. It was cast in Nantes, France, on December 11, 1998, the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Bell has an inscription commemorating that document, as well as engravings marking the most important events of the past 1,000 years.
The World Peace Bell was first rung in Nantes on March 20, 1999, in a public ceremony, and it began a month-and-a-half-long sea voyage from France to New Orleans, where the Bell was made part of that city's July Fourth celebration. The Bell was transported by barge up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, making stops in 14 cities along the way. The Bell arrived at its final destination on August 1st.
The World Peace Bell will officially open on September 21, 1999, the International Day of Peace, when it will toll to observe the opening session of this year's United Nations General Assembly. On New Year's Eve 1999, the Bell will be rung once every hour and broadcast so that people in every time zone around the globe will hear the new millennium rung in by our World Peace Bell. This celebration will include leaders of church and state from around the world, as well as participants performing native rituals and wearing traditional costumes.
Mr. Speaker, I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the city of Newport and neighboring river cities on their successful revitalization efforts. The World Peace Bell is only one of a number of projects coming to fruition in the region. The success of these efforts is a testament to the spirit and hard work of the people of Northern Kentucky.