The peaceful and democratic society we enjoy was created by the efforts and sacrifices of generations of Americans who have put their lives on the line in the cause of peace and freedom around the world. Remembering and learning all that Veterans have sacrificed helps us better understand our nation’s history and its future.
At the end of the World War I, many people heard about the Armistice through bells ringing. When the bells rang out on the 11th month of the 11th day on the 11th hour in 1918, they announced the end of the most catastrophic war the world had yet seen. This year, 2018, marks the centenary of the Armistice, now called Veterans Day.
To collectively remember and honor those veterans who put their lives on the line on the battle field, the Mattapoisett Women’s Club launched a “Veterans Day Bells of Remembrance” project in 2017 to rekindle that spirit of togetherness. The Bells of Remembrance project is asking communities throughout Massachusetts to pause for a minute of silence and mark the centenary of the Armistice by ringing church and municipal bells on the 11th month of the 11th day on the 11th hour. Last year, several churches and municipal buildings from Wareham, Fairhaven, Marion, and Mattapoisett participated by ringing their bells and this year many more Massachusetts communities will participate.
There is a special free smart phone app “Bells of Peace Participation” that is available from iTunes and Android stores and that may be downloaded onto your smart phone. The app has a built-in countdown timer and will toll 21 times on 11/11/11 in remembrance of this very special moment when the fighting stopped. Go to ww1cc.org/YourAce on your smart phones and the site will direct you how to set up Bells of Peace.
The Mattapoisett Woman’s Club has resolved to promote Bells of Remembrance on November 11 to remind the public of that Armistice Day peace pledge. We are also asking church members either in their bulletins or from the pulpit, to work for peace. One hundred years after the first Armistice Day, and given the special significance of this year, 2018, the commemoration takes on added importance. Let’s pause for a minute of silence and ring those bells on the 11th month of the 11th day on the 11th hour to commemorate the end of the “War to end all wars!” and recapture peace on 11/11/11.