Bells of Peace to commemorate end of WWI today

Citizens, organizations can take part at 11 a.m.

NEW ULM — Americans across the country will toll bells at 11 a.m. today (Sunday, Nov. 11) in remembrance of those who served and sacrificed in World War I.

The World War One Centennial Commission, along with The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and other organizations announced a nationwide bell-tolling at as a solemn reminder of the sacrifice and service of veterans of the Great War, and all veterans.

“Bells of Peace: A World War One Remembrance” encourages citizens and organizations across the nation to toll bells in their communities 21 times at 11 a.m.

Participants can commemorate the WWI Armistice themselves or with a group of people opening the Bells of Peace App before 11 a.m. Sunday.

As a built-in, countdown timer reaches 11 a.m., Bells of Peace will toll from every device, together, 21 times, in remembrance of when the fighting ended on the Western Front. The App is available for iOS and Android mobile devices.

A worldwide sounding of “Taps” and “The Last Post” sponsored by Taps for Veterans, will be sounded by buglers and trumpeters across the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries.

Each performer will sound their call at a location of their choice. Locations include WWI monuments, memorials, public squares, churches, and Veterans Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Interested buglers and trumpeters should register at https://tapsforveterans.org/soundsofremembrance/

Minnesota WWI Centennial Commemoration Committee member George Glotzbach of New Ulm said a year of planning has taken place for the event, including State of Minnesota Proclamations for Armistice Centennial Remembrance Day and World War I Centenary Month.

“I’m hoping churches ring their bells at 11 a.m.,” Glotzbach said. “I’ll be standing at the corner of Center and Broadway to see if I can hear bells ringing.”

The Minnesota proclamation calls for all Americans across the country and in Minnesota to toll bells for those who served in WWI at 11 a.m. Sunday.

In addition, the World War I Centenary Month Proclamation honors the contributions and sacrifices made by Americans and our allies and join the international commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Great War’s conclusion.

In total, 3,607 Minnesotans and 116,516 Americans gave their lives in the War. More than 200,000 Americans were wounded.

In addition, the Minnesota flour industry played an important part in the war effort, supplying more than 17 million bags of flour to U.S. and Allied forces.

According to the Nov. 13, 1918 New Ulm Review, whistles blew, church bells rang and many flags were displayed when the rumor of signing of the Armistice caused pandemonium to break loose in New Ulm.

“Rumor that an armistice had been signed between Allies and the Germans and that hostilities would case at 2 p.m. was received over the wire at the (New Ulm) Eagle Roller mill office at about noon,” read a newspaper account.

“All the whistles were turned on. Church bells assisted in conveying the glad tidings to the people of the city and surrounding countryside,” read the story. “The elements were not to be denied the privilege of celebrating. A downpour shortly after 1 p.m. in no measure damped the ardor of the citizens of New Ulm. The Hofmeister and Concert bands were out and a parade started.”

In addition, the account read that hundreds of citizens were in line, surging back and forth on Minnesota Street, shouting and waving flags. Never before has there been such an outburst of enthusiasm in New Ulm. Men embraced each other, laughing and shouting as they made merry that the war was over. The Riverside band came out in the evening, assisting in the celebration.

For more information, visit http://mnuvlc/events/Veterans-Day-2018.html