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The Embassy of the Netherlands has unveiled three new bells that will be added to the Netherlands Carillon, the historic, open-steel tower instrument dedicated to friendship between the United States and the Netherlands.

The largest of the three bells is named after George C. Marshall, architect of the post-war European Recovery Program (more widely known as the "Marshall Plan") which distributed aid to 16 nations, including the Netherlands, in 1948. The Marshall Bell is adorned with ornaments of classic Dutch images, including the Dutch coat of arms, windmills, and etched with "75 Years of Freedom." With a diameter of 5 feet 9 inches, it weighs a staggering 7,595 pounds. For comparison, the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, that icon of American independence, weighs a measly 2,080 pounds. Of course, the Marshall bell is expected to have far better luck upon ringing.

The Marshall Bell is joined by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Bell, which weighs in at 37 pounds, and was introduced to the public by the director of the newly- renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library branch of the D.C. Public Library, Maryann James-Daley. The smallest bell, both in the new exhibit and the carillon overall, at 26 pounds, was named for Eleanor Roosevelt, and was unveiled by her great-granddaughter, Tracy Roosevelt. Both of the smaller bells are engraved with the names of the people they honor, and the coats of arms of the Netherlands and the U.S.

"The three bells are dedicated to three influential Americans whose legacy impacted the world, including the Netherlands, during and after World War II: Secretary George C. Marshall, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and humanitarian Eleanor Roosevelt," said Ambassador André Haspels. "Freedom and justice, which they all vigorously promoted, are values that bind the united states and the Netherlands together."

The idea for a carillon to symbolize the friendship between the Netherlands and the United States took form soon after the ending of World War II. In 1952, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands presented a small silver bell to President Truman as a promise of the carillon the country would build.

"To achieve real harmony, justice should be done also to the small and tiny voices, which are not supported by the might of their weight. Mankind could learn from this," Queen Juliana said at the time. "So many voices in our troubled world are still unheard. Let that be an incentive for all of us when we hear the bells ringing."

The carillon initially had 49 bells, representing the 48 states and the District of Columbia which, at the time, comprised the United States. A small, 50th bell, was added in 1995, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the war. The three new bells brings the current total to 53. The largest bell, called the Bourbon Bell, is dedicated to the Caribbean territories of the Netherlands, and is 6 feet 9 inches in diameter, and weighs more than 12,000 pounds.

The carillon tower stands 127 feet tall, on the far western edge of the National Mall on National Park Service land, between Arlington Cemetery and the Marine Corps Monument. It is its third location, following its original locations in Meridian Hill Park (colloquially known as Malcom X Park) and Western Potomac Park. This is the carillon's fourth restoration, building on work completed in 1970, 1983, and 1994. The current restoration has included restorations to the tower, tuning of the bells, and an upgrade to the operating system.  

The addition of the three bells marks the completion of an eighteen-month restoration process that began in October 2019, and launched the Embassy's "75 Years of Freedom" campaign, which commemorated the end of World War II, and showcased the U.S.'s contributions to liberating the Netherlands from the Nazis. The addition of the bells elevates the carillon to "grand" status.

The new bells will be raised on May 20th.

The Netherlands Carillon is located a brief walk from the Rosslyn or Arlington National Cemetery Metro stations. Grounds are open from 6 am - midnight all year long. There is no admission fee.

About
Molly McCluskey
:
Molly McCluskey is an international investigative journalist and creator of Diplomatica. Follow her on Twitter @MollyEMcCluskey.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.

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New Dutch Bells to Ring Over Washington

Photo by Molly McCluskey.

May 18, 2021

T

The Embassy of the Netherlands has unveiled three new bells that will be added to the Netherlands Carillon, the historic, open-steel tower instrument dedicated to friendship between the United States and the Netherlands.

The largest of the three bells is named after George C. Marshall, architect of the post-war European Recovery Program (more widely known as the "Marshall Plan") which distributed aid to 16 nations, including the Netherlands, in 1948. The Marshall Bell is adorned with ornaments of classic Dutch images, including the Dutch coat of arms, windmills, and etched with "75 Years of Freedom." With a diameter of 5 feet 9 inches, it weighs a staggering 7,595 pounds. For comparison, the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, that icon of American independence, weighs a measly 2,080 pounds. Of course, the Marshall bell is expected to have far better luck upon ringing.

The Marshall Bell is joined by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Bell, which weighs in at 37 pounds, and was introduced to the public by the director of the newly- renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library branch of the D.C. Public Library, Maryann James-Daley. The smallest bell, both in the new exhibit and the carillon overall, at 26 pounds, was named for Eleanor Roosevelt, and was unveiled by her great-granddaughter, Tracy Roosevelt. Both of the smaller bells are engraved with the names of the people they honor, and the coats of arms of the Netherlands and the U.S.

"The three bells are dedicated to three influential Americans whose legacy impacted the world, including the Netherlands, during and after World War II: Secretary George C. Marshall, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and humanitarian Eleanor Roosevelt," said Ambassador André Haspels. "Freedom and justice, which they all vigorously promoted, are values that bind the united states and the Netherlands together."

The idea for a carillon to symbolize the friendship between the Netherlands and the United States took form soon after the ending of World War II. In 1952, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands presented a small silver bell to President Truman as a promise of the carillon the country would build.

"To achieve real harmony, justice should be done also to the small and tiny voices, which are not supported by the might of their weight. Mankind could learn from this," Queen Juliana said at the time. "So many voices in our troubled world are still unheard. Let that be an incentive for all of us when we hear the bells ringing."

The carillon initially had 49 bells, representing the 48 states and the District of Columbia which, at the time, comprised the United States. A small, 50th bell, was added in 1995, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the war. The three new bells brings the current total to 53. The largest bell, called the Bourbon Bell, is dedicated to the Caribbean territories of the Netherlands, and is 6 feet 9 inches in diameter, and weighs more than 12,000 pounds.

The carillon tower stands 127 feet tall, on the far western edge of the National Mall on National Park Service land, between Arlington Cemetery and the Marine Corps Monument. It is its third location, following its original locations in Meridian Hill Park (colloquially known as Malcom X Park) and Western Potomac Park. This is the carillon's fourth restoration, building on work completed in 1970, 1983, and 1994. The current restoration has included restorations to the tower, tuning of the bells, and an upgrade to the operating system.  

The addition of the three bells marks the completion of an eighteen-month restoration process that began in October 2019, and launched the Embassy's "75 Years of Freedom" campaign, which commemorated the end of World War II, and showcased the U.S.'s contributions to liberating the Netherlands from the Nazis. The addition of the bells elevates the carillon to "grand" status.

The new bells will be raised on May 20th.

The Netherlands Carillon is located a brief walk from the Rosslyn or Arlington National Cemetery Metro stations. Grounds are open from 6 am - midnight all year long. There is no admission fee.

About
Molly McCluskey
:
Molly McCluskey is an international investigative journalist and creator of Diplomatica. Follow her on Twitter @MollyEMcCluskey.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.