Independence Hall stood as the single place that Philadelphians held as their own in the sense that it was a pleasant and solid friend--the most important building in America and it was there at your elbow. You'd feel it as an old friend. The Liberty Bell was, back then, right inside the main doors, so it was up and in for a quick or lingering look, touching it without it feeling but that it was an old friend. In the summertime the doors were open and you'd look in to see a shadowed view which gave me deep feeling a bit mixed, in a way like its history. Now, I was a radical back then and Independence Hall would be the place to go when issues of national importance were brought pungently in signage, but silently and open to 'read' such if they chose to do so. When the Hall was built, when it had established itself as the place of our new country's 'business', the shaping of 'the people's will' it was no home to demonstrations, but to gatherings of a more intimate form to doing the will of the people in making our laws. But to the quick: Almost from the first it was a place of argument, the kind of speech that helped make this country free. So the big protests held there in the 60's through the mid-eighties of the 20th century were an accepted form of free speech. As a frequent 'protester' in front of the Hall I'd look inside--the doors in the summertime were always open during the day--and I'd feel a comfort of seeing the bell in the warm and unlit station for visitors and this protestor's eyes. Times have changed. And as a seventy-plus Philadelphian, my feelings for the Hall and 'the bell' have never lost the warmth for their meaning that goes beyond mere history. The rough skin of history is part of the way of it today and till I die. God bless America!