Finally, it was our turn to get near the bell. The park ranger stationed there asked us to gather close and he began his well-rehearsed explanation of the history of the bell. When he concluded, with us understanding very little of what he had said about this symbol of freedom, he asked if we had any questions.

“It looks broken,” Angel observed.

“Well, it’s cracked,” said the ranger.

“Does it ring?” Angel asked.

“No,” said the ranger. “It hasn’t been rung for almost 150 years.”

Angel turned to me and the other swimmers and said, “So CJ sent us all the way down here to get hot standing in line to see a broken bell?”

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