We’ve just come through a bruising political season, but – just ahead – is a reminder of what it is about our great country that unites us.
Sunday is not only Veterans Day, it is the 100th anniversary of its predecessor, Armistice Day. The Armistice ending World War I took effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month back in 1918.
The Armistice was a time to reflect on the great loss of American lives in fighting for freedom in Europe. The event also focused on peace – with the hope that there might never again be a “great war” that called on nations to sacrifice their rising generation in battle.
The U.S. World War I Commission is holding a number of events this year, celebrating the 100th year of the Armistice. Veterans Day falls on Sunday this year, so many Cowetans will be in church when the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month arrives.
One of the World War I Commission’s projects is Bells of Peace. Churches – and any other organization with a bell – are asked to toll their bells 21 times at 11 a.m. It’s sort of a musical 21-gun salute to remember those who have fallen in battle. At the same time, each toll of the bell accompanies a prayer for peace.
Several local churches are planning to participate, and local veteran John Lager is working with other community organizations to promote Bells of Peace. To register for the event, visit the World War I Commission’s website: www.ww1cc.org/bells
Also, send us an email – at firstname.lastname@example.org – if you are planning to participate. Tell us your church or organization, the address and any details if there is more to your celebration than simply ringing the bell. We’ll run a list of places where people can participate in Bells of Peace in Friday’s newspaper.
The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission was established by Congress in 2013 to provide education programs, public outreach, and commemorative events regarding the American involvement in that war. Honorary chairs are the living former presidents of the United States – George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Those former chief executives come from different generations, parties, philosophies and races, but all are part of this celebration of America’s willingness to play our part on the world stage and our joy when freedom and peace are the result.
After all the hyper-political messages of the past few weeks, we need a time to focus on our great country and those values that bring us together. Let’s ring Bells of Peace and celebrate the blessings we experience every day as Americans.