The Liberty Bell: from war to high school

Gabe Waldbaum, News Editor

Not many schools have a bell that comes from a naval ship withstanding eight hundred bullet holes, a napalm strike, a surface torpedo, and a forty-foot diameter hole, but Liberty High School is one of the few.
“I think that most people don’t know where the bell comes from and I feel that is pretty sad,” Cadet Petty Officer Montana Williams said. “It is such a cool artifact that we have.”
On June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty was attacked on international waters by first an Israeli aircraft and then a boat during the Six Day War under controversial circumstances. There are still major discussions about whether or not the boat was purposely attacked or the US boat was mistaken as Egyptian, but in the end 34 crew members were killed and 171 injured.
“Because the bell sits in our classroom, our cadets are reminded on a daily basis of the ultimate sacrifice made by the sailors and marines who served on board the USS Liberty on that fateful day,” NJROTC Captain John Deere said.
Israel paid millions of dollars to the families of the veterans and US military to make amends for the attack on the ship.
Eventually the USS Liberty was taken apart and only few objects were saved and put into The Navy Archives: The Liberty Bell, the power pedestal, the steering wheel, and the ship’s logs.
Liberty’s first principal, Robert White, was a former Marine officer and made a big influence on the school’s name, colors, and mascot. On top of all of this, he was the one who had the connections to know how to obtain the Liberty Bell, and it has been here since.
“It is not only an artifact from a fallen ship but it is also represents the school name. I think it is a good thing to know and have a historical factor in,” Cadet Petty Officer Luke Ransom said. “It is an honor that our school is able to have it as opposed to a warehouse or in a museum.”