ANTIGONISH, N.S. - In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, folks are encouraged to participate in the Bells of Peace initiative by ringing bells, at sunset, on Remembrance Day.
Royal Canadian Legion Arras Branch 59 Chaplin Rev. Peter Smith, from the St. James United Church in Antigonish, talked about Bells of Peace during the official opening of the local poppy campaign, Friday (Oct. 26) morning, at the legion.
“It’s an opportunity for all of us at sunset on Remembrance Day to pause,” Smith said to the group gathered at the legion on St. Ninian Street.
“What they are encouraging is for churches and community centers to ring whatever bells they have, starting at sunset … and it’s going to go across the country.”
Smith said the idea behind noting churches and communities centers, in particular, is that they’re traditional gathering places.
“But, certainly, anyone who wants to ring a bell at sunset, just to remember,” he said.
“And in different areas there are certain events which are being commemorated. In Halifax, it’s the Halifax Explosion which will be the center of their memories; but, again, this is taking place right from Newfoundland to B.C.”
He talked about commemorating the 100th anniversary.
“The signing of the armistice on the 11th (of November); hopefully, there will be bells ringing all across the country because that is what happened when the armistice was signed, church bells and bells at town halls were all rung,” Smith said.
“So it’s a way of remembering the celebrations at that point, a way of remembering the service and sacrifice, and also helping us remember what they fought for and the peace we need to preserve.”
The idea is for a bell to be rung 100 times, signaling the 100 years.
“That’s the encouragement,” Smith said “Because it’s 100 years and they’re wanting us to ring and have a five second pause; but the fact of the matter is, just those bells will remind people whether they hear them once or twice or 100 times.”
For more on the initiative, visit www.legion.ca/remembering/promoting-remembrance/bells-of-peace.