Tuesday, October 26, 1999

World Peace Bell drops anchor


Ready to ring in the millennium

BY TERRY FLYNN
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — With the strains of Strauss' inspiring “Thus Spake Zarathustra” echoing through downtown on Monday, the World Peace Bell was ceremoniously hung in its pavilion at Fourth and York streets.

        The 33-ton bronze bell, listed as the largest swinging bell in the world, was gently lowered by cable and crane through the top of the skeletal steel structure that will be its permanent home, its enormous yoke resting on specially constructed steel members.

        “Today, the World Peace Bell is home,” said Northern Kentucky businessman Wayne Carlisle, whose vision and money made the huge bell a reality. “The next giant step forward will be Dec. 31.”

        The bell, which most recently was an attraction at Tall Stacks '99, will remain silent until New Year's Eve, when it will be struck every hour from 6 a.m. to midnight to mark the new millennium in different time zones around the world.

        Mr. Carlisle, chairman of the Millennium Monument Co., said the hanging ceremony Monday began over two years ago when the idea of a World Peace Bell was conceived. The bell was cast last December in Nantes, France, and shipped to New Orleans last summer, where it was dedicated on July 4.

        The bell traveled up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers by barge, stopping at 14 cities where people could see and touch it and sign the world peace books provided to record signatures and thoughts.

        “Over 25,000 people have signed the world peace books since the bell came to the U.S.,” Mr. Carlisle told a gathering of about 100 that included residents from the area, as well as city, county and state officials.

        On Dec. 31, the bell will be rung each hour with a special striker that has been used since its arrival in New Orleans. Only at midnight will it be rung with its 6,000-pound clapper. That ringing will be aired on international television.

        Newport Mayor Tom Guidugli said the city “can be very proud of this moment and of the bell. The bell could have been placed anywhere, but Wayne Carlisle wanted it here.

        “This is another step in the downtown development that we see continuing for years to come,” Mr. Guidugli said.

       



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- World Peace Bell drops anchor