NEW ALBANY —
Fallout from the George Zimmerman murder trial in Florida has dominated media headlines and broadcasts in recent days.
As has been well documented, the case in which Zimmerman was acquitted involved claims of racial profiling, and questions have arisen following the verdict as to how different ethnicities treat and think of each other in the United States.
On Tuesday in downtown New Albany, different races came together for a charitable cause.
Black and white people gathered on a street corner in celebration of a project that has strong ties to an era when the color of one’s skin likely meant either freedom or slavery.
They prayed together, and then watched as a crane lifted one of the clock faces back atop Town Clock Church — a moment that marked the completion of an important phase in the restoration project to improve the more than 160-year-old structure.
Friends of the Town Clock Church hosted the event to showcase the replacement of the clock faces as well to highlight the next steps for the project.
The past, as well as the future, occupied people’s minds. As New Albany City Councilman John Gonder said, the steeple of the Town Clock Church served as a beacon of hope to slaves during the Civil War.
Slaves from Kentucky sought refuge at the church as a link in the Underground Railroad, and Gonder said the city and a large group of volunteers are diligently attempting to ensure the building at Main and Third streets remains a part of New Albany’s fabric.
“I think the community has answered in very good order here,” Gonder said, as a group of six men shifted one of the restored clock faces back into its slot on top of the church behind him.
Refurbishing the clock faces was just one of the goals set forth by the Friends of the Town Clock Church when it began raising funds for the restoration project last year.