Now an icon of San Pedro in Los Angeles, CA, the Korean Friendship Bell is a cultural landmark for Korean Americans with a symbolic value similar to that of the Statue of Liberty. Modeled after the one cast for the Bongdeok Temple in 771, the bell was presented to the United States 35 years ago, and it is finally beginning to show signs of its age.
Because of a broken link, the bell—traditionally rung by striking a log against it—can only be rung electronically. To bear the cost of repairs, the San Pedro Korean Friendship Bell Preservation Committee is hoping to raise $120,000 to initiate the restoration process, reports the Korea Herald. The non-profit organization has asked everyone in the community to donate at least $1 to the cause, and has set up mailing and online options for those interested in donating.
Checks can be mailed to:
KFBPC (Korean Friendship Bell Preservation Committee)
3601 S. Gaffey St., Box 12, San Pedro, CA 90731
[Photo: Ernest Lee/Korea Herald]