BRISTOL - American Legion Post 2 is calling on city residents, local churches and more to ring â€śBells of Peaceâ€ť on Nov. 11, Veterans Day, at 11 a.m. in honor of World War I veterans.
Bells of Peace is a nation-wide effort being organized by the World War One Centennial Commission with support from the American Legion and other organizations throughout the country. Those who participate will be asked to ring a bell 21 times (like the customary 21-gun salute) on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. in remembrance of when cities and towns rang every bell in their communities on that day and time in 1919 at the end of the war.
â€śThe first Veterans Day was called Armistice Day and it was celebrated by ringing every bell in town,â€ť said Neal Supranovich, historian with American Legion Post 2. â€śThey rang school bells, church bells, etc. Bristol did it too, according to our records.â€ť
The World War One Centennial Commission, which is also working to create a National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, has set up a website in preparation for the event: ww1cc.org/bells. There, you can download a special Bells of Peace cell phone app.â€ť
â€śIf they open the app on that day, it will count down until 11 a.m.,â€ť said Supranovich. â€śThen, at that time, it will make a bell sound 21 times. When you download the app, you can choose the bell sound you want.â€ť
Supranovich said he has received approval from Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu to have municipal bells ring. He will soon be speaking with the fire department about ringing their bell and he is also sending mailings out to local churches asking for their participation. Churches that wish to participate can call Supranovich at 860-830-0820 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Legion Post 2 will also have their annual Veterans Day Breakfast Nov. 11 from 8 to 11 a.m. at the post at 22 Hooker Court. They will also have a Veterans Day ceremony at a time and location that will be announced at a later date.
On the night of Nov. 11, Post 2 will have a luminary ceremony on Memorial Boulevard. If you wish to participate you can sign up at American Legion Post 2â€™s breakfast Oct. 14.
â€śFor a $5 donation you will get a bag which you can write the name of a service member on and an electronic candle to place inside the bag,â€ť said Supranovich. â€śThese will be placed all along the boulevard. Proceeds will support programs to assist veterans, such as hat and glove collections that we have held for Veterans at the Stand Down event in Middletown.â€ť
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.