The Gazette reports that, while the thermometer hovered around zero degrees, roughly 70 people gathered at Montana State University Billings’ Peaks to Plains Park on Monday, listening as the Traditions Bell tolled five times to honor the legacy of one of the civil rights movement’s most renowned leaders. There were no classes Monday at MSUB, but political science student Halle Keltner urged her fellow students to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day as [quote] “a holiday on, not a day off.” [end quote]

She said ringing the bell in Billings, along with thousands of others across America, honors the life of Dr. King. According to Keltner, ringing the bell traditionally symbolizes the quest for peace along with justice, human rights and social and economic progress for all people. The bell also echoes the independence America’s Liberty Bell represents.