Fire captain's personal connection to restored fire bell
And Tuesday, his vision became reality.
"I am a fourth-generation firefighter in the city. My grandfather was a fire chief. My father was a fire chief."
Long before Paul McSherry became fire captain in the city of Sharon, there were two constants - the spirit of service and sacrifice in his genes, and the fire bell his ancestors served under.
"The bell was purchased by the (then) borough of Sharon in 1876 and placed in the tower of the fire station on Chestnut Street," McSherry said.
Sharon stopped using it in 1920 in favor of sirens to warn of fires.
Eventually, the bell's housing became too decrepit to support it - and it came down - but not before McSherry's father said goodbye.
"In '57, his picture was taken in the tower with the fire bell before it came down," McSherry says.
From there, it made a few more stops before winding up in the city garage, where it likely would've never rung again, but McSherry wasn't having it.
He wanted to save the bell.
Once Sharon Firefighters Local 417 agreed to back the restoration, he got together with some neighbors, donors, and businesses to tie the loose ends.
And Tuesday, his vision became a reality.
"It's back to its original home at the fire station where it belongs," said McSherry.
A new foundation and a new look for a centuries-old symbol of tradition, which on this day came full circle.
And in that proud moment, there was just one thing left for McSherry to do - toll the bell once more.
"I used to walk by the bell when it was on state street, and I used to smack it and say 'hey Dad, keep us safe today,'" McSherry says.
His father's spirit giving a ringing endorsement to his family's lifetime of service and sacrifice.