Below you will find answers to the questions our participants have asked about the bell tolling. If you have a question that is not addressed here Contact Us and we will be happy to answer it!
What is the National Bell Tolling?
Bells of Peace: A National World War I Remembrance is a national tolling of bells to honor those who served in the Great War. The United States participated from April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918.
Why should we toll the bells?
Tolling of bells is the traditional way to mark someone’s passing. On special national occasions, bells are tolled in honor of the fallen. November 11 is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended hostilities in World War I. In the war, 116,516 Americans died and over 200,000 were wounded.
When is the National Bell Tolling?
On Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. local time across the United States and its territories.
Where will the National Bell Tolling take place?
In communities, houses of worship, cemeteries, military installations, ships at sea - anywhere that Americans gather to honor their veterans.
Who is sponsoring the National Bell Tolling?
The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission is the sponsor. The Commission was created by Act of Congress in 2013 to honor, commemorate, and educate the public about American participation in World War I. The Pritzker Military Museum and Library, our founding sponsor, also endorses this event. Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion are partners, as are the National Cathedral and the Society of the Honor Guard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. State World War I commissions and other partners are encouraged to co-sponsor and publicize the event.
How can my community group participate?
At 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 11, toll your bells slowly 21 times with a five-second interval between tolls. Groups that do not have bells can render the salute by other available means such as guns, cannons, rifles, and sirens. No bell? No worries. We are planning to create a special downloadable smartphone APP that can be used privately or with public address systems.
Why is it important to toll the bells 21 times? We would rather toll our bell once in honor of each of our local veterans killed in combat.
The 21 tolls of the bell symbolize the nation's highest honor. It is based on the 21-gun salute, whose origin is described here. We suggest you toll your bells 21 times, and follow that with an individual toll for each veteran you wish to honor, stating their name before each toll. The ceremony could conclude with Taps or a solemn reading.
Where can I get more information?
www.ww1cc.org/bells. At this link, you will be able to find suggestions for songs, poems, and other content you can use for your community event. You can also upload photos, videos, and information about your event, and find links to education and other World War I Centennial information.
Choose and copy paragraphs for your state, local government, or organization's proclamation calling for bell tolling throughout your community! Be sure to send a copy of your proclamation to TollTheBells@worldwar1centennial.org so everyone can see how your community plans to honor our World War I veterans.
Bells of Peace: A World War I Remembrance
A National Tolling of Bells to Honor Those Who Served in the Great War
WHEREAS, a century ago 4.7 million American families sent their sons and daughters off to World War I;
WHEREAS, men and women from the (state, city, community) of (.....) served selflessly and honorably in World War I;
WHEREAS, 116,516 Americans gave their lives in the war, and more than 200,000 were wounded;
WHEREAS, the tolling of bells is a traditional expression of honor and remembrance; and
WHEREAS, in November 2018 the world will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the fighting in World War I at 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918 -- the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month;
WHEREAS, on April 6, 2018, the United States World War I Centennial Commission called upon all Americans across the nation to toll bells in remembrance of those who served in World War I on Armistice Day, November 11, 2018;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the (state, city, town, community) of (name) does hereby call upon all Americans across the nation to toll bells in remembrance of those who served in World War I at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 2018.
for YOUR Bells of Peace Armistice Commemoration
Bells of Peace Resources: Press Releases and Articles
July 3, 2018: WWI COMMISSION ANNOUNCES 'BELLS OF PEACE' ON ARMISTICE CENTENNIAL: Nationwide Bell-Tolling on November 11, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. will honor the 116,516 American men & women who died in WWI.Read Entire Release
We will be producing an Interfaith Sacred Service on November 11, 2018 in partnership with National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The program is currently under development. We are happy to share the ideas and the program elements below as they evolve to provide you inspiration and concepts for your own services. Meanwhile, please check the links and suggestions below for ideas.
Prayers:Prayer of a Soldier in France by Joyce Kilmer, The Act of Remembrance Adapted from the Hebrew Union Prayer Book.
Hymns: Eternal Father, Strong to Save (Navy Hymn), Amazing Grace, Battle Hymn of the Republic
Poems: The Young Dead Soldiers Do Not Speak by Archibald MacLeish, Hymn of Dead Soldiers by Walt Whitman, The Death of a Soldier by Wallace Stevens, There was a Crimson Clash of War by Stephen Crane, Adieu to a Soldier by Walt Whitman, The Children by Rudyard Kipling, Recessional by Rudyard Kipling,The Last One Down: Henry Gunther by M. Naylor, Lament by F.S. Flint, The Parable of the Old Man and the Young by Wilfred Owen, Aftermath by Siegfried Sassoon, In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, And There Was a Great Calm by Thomas Hardy (On the Signing of the Armistice, 11 Nov. 1918) Grass by Carl Sandburg, Soldier’s Dream by Wilfred Owen, Perhaps by Vera Brittain, The March of the Dead by Robert William Service, Survivorsby Siegfried Sassoon, Does it Matter? by Siegfried Sassoon, Rouge Bouquet by Joyce Kilmer,I Have a Rendezvous with Deathby Alan Seeger, For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon,
Readings: (coming soon)
Diary Entries and Personal Letters from the collection of the National World War I Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, MO (coming soon)
Does your community have bagpipes? Play "The Battle's O'er" on November 11, 2018 at 6:00 a.m. local time: Be part of a worldwide effort that many American pipers have already joined! More information and registration at "The Battle's O'er".