TULSA, Oklahoma - In ceremonies across the nation, bells rang at exactly 1 p.m. Wednesday to commemorate the meaning of July 4th.

The Sons of the American Revolution celebrated the giant step to freedom that happened on July 4th, 1776, by ringing the Kendall Bell at the University of Tulsa 13 times to honor the 13 original colonies.

John Haws is 97 years old and carries on these traditions, so younger generations don't forget.

"Study the history and help us to keep the old information in history in front of the younger people," Haws said.

The Sons of the American Revolution can trace their lineage back to someone who actually served in the Continental Army hundreds of years ago.

"It was only eight generations ago that the original patriot named Bewley fought with George Washington's army and then we have three generations here today," said Richard Bewley, of Sons of the American Revolution.

At the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, the same ceremony unfolded.

The white-gloved participants included two newly-naturalized citizens and eight descendants of some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Back in Tulsa, the Sons read the Declaration of Independence and said the Pledge of Allegiance to reiterate the founding principles of this country.

"To remind people what a bold step those patriots made to declare independence from Great Britain and to found this free nation,' Bewley said.

They wore replica costumes to honor the past, but said the real patriots are the ones in uniform.

"There are people who are wearing uniforms today that are in harm's way and we need to keep them in our prayers," Bewley said.