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Monday, April 15, 2024
Legion calls bells to action Nov. 11

On Nov. 11, 1918 — one hundred years ago — church bells erupted across England in celebration of the end of four years of war.

One hundred years later, the Royal Canadian Legion is calling to action bells across the country to ring in solidarity and commemoration of the war and those who fought for our freedom.

“[The legion] is looking to recognize the Centenary of the Armistice ending World War I on November 11 2018, by having communities across the country ring bells at sunset on that day,” said local legion (Branch 124) president Al Howse.

“To this end, we are asking each church in and around the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake to ring their church bells at 5 p.m. on Nov. 11 as many as 100 times.”

Howse, who served in the Canadian army during the Second World War, hopes bells will be heard across town.

“It is important as Canadians for us to remember this date for the contribution that our ancestors made during the 1914-1918 conflict. Of the 424,000 that went overseas, 66,000 were killed and 172,000 were wounded. Our population at the time was only eight million people,” said Howse.

The legion will hold its Remembrance Day services at 10:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. on Nov. 11, gathering first at the Old Town cenotaph, and then at the base of the staircase at Queenston Heights near Brock’s Monument.

The bell event will only happen this year, notes Howse, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the war.

“We hope as many as possible can participate, if only to stop at the sound of the bells and reflect on the 100 years that have past, and how it affected your family.”

“We also encourage people throughout the day to go into the local cemeteries and seek out the graves of those who served in the First World War.”

The graves of those who served will be marked with small Canadian flags.

“At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them,” said Howse, quoting the poem For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon.

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