By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An annual tradition involving one of the most enduring symbols of this country’s freedom took place Friday as descendants of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence and two new citizens had the privilege of stepping forward to tap the Liberty Bell.

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When the bell was cast, the wording on its rim proclaiming “liberty to all throughout the land” is what ultimately saved it when it cracked. At precisely 2 p.m every July 4th, the symbolic ceremony takes place.

Jake, Isiah and Justin Bainbridge of Plymouth Meeting are direct descendants of John Hart and participated in the ceremony.

“Not many people get to do it.”

“It’s a great privilege. Nobody ever gets to tap the Liberty bell. It was just a great moment.”

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The Bainbridge family along with Mayor Nutter. (Credit: Michelle Durham)

The Bainbridge family along with Mayor Nutter. (Credit: Michelle Durham)

Their Father, James, says this event means a great deal to the family:

“They’ve come from California, from Virginia, from all over the country to come here to celebrate this with the boys, so it’s very important to us.”

For ten-year-old Rory Wallach, also a descendant of John Hart, it meant so much to tap the bell.

“You don’t really know what you are doing,” he said. “You are just kind of excited. You just have your feelings like you just know that it is really important. It just felt like that you are kind of special at that very moment.”

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