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The original item was published from 11/8/2018 10:00:20 AM to 1/1/2019 12:05:11 AM.

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Veteran's Affairs

Posted on: November 8, 2018


Bells of Peace 2018 logo

WASHINGTON DC: The World War One Centennial Commission, along with the Pritzker

Military Museum & Library, the Society of the Honor Guard of the Tomb of the Unknown/DocumentCenter/View/15333

Soldier, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, today announced BELLS OF


BELLS OF PEACE is a collaborative program, whereby American citizens and organizations,

across the entire country, are invited to toll bells in their communities twenty-one times on

Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.local time.

Conceived and designed in collaboration with the nation’s veterans of service with the Honor

Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the bell tolling provides a solemn reminder of the

sacrifice and service of veterans of World War I, and all veterans.

Bells will be tolled in communities across the nation, in places of worship, schools, town halls,

public carillons, and cemeteries, to mark the centennial of the Armistice that brought an end to

hostilities, in what Americans fervently hoped had been “The War to End All Wars.”

This nationwide program is designed to honor those American men and women who served one

hundred years ago, during World War One. The war ended by an armistice agreement between

the warring countries at 11 a.m. on November 11th, 1918.

The World War I Centennial Commission has created a page on its website: where people can find information and tools to conduct the bell tolling, and to meaningfully

commemorate the service of their local World War One veterans.

World War One took place between July 1914 and November 1918, and was one of the deadliest

conflicts in world history. Over nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a

result of the war. The Unites States officially entered the war on April 6th, 1917. Some 4.7

million Americans stepped forward to serve in uniform during the war, 2 million of them were

deployed overseas to fight, and 116,516 of them never made it home.

The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission was established by Congress in 2013 to

provide education programs, public outreach, and commemorative events regarding the

American involvement in the war. The Centennial Commission was also authorized by Congress

to create a new national-level memorial in the nation's capital, to honor the men and women who

served. Information on the new National World War One Memorial can be found at

The American Legion was founded by three World War One veterans in 1919, as a verteran

support organization made up of former and current U.S. military members. Throughout its

history, The Legion has been committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome

programs in America’s communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national

security, and support for servicemembers and veterans.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars was founded in 1899 to support all honorably-discharged

servicemembers, from any military branch, who served the U.S. in wars, campaigns, expeditions,

on foreign soil, or hostile waters. The VFW grew rapidly after World War One, with hundreds of

thousands eligible veterans returning from the war. Today, it stands with the American Legion as

the two largest veteran service organizations in the world.

While it is a Congressional Commission, the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

operates largely through private donation. The founding sponsor for the Centennial Commission

was the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, in Chicago. The leading sponsor for the

Centennial Commission is the Starr Foundation, based in Washington DC. Other major

supporters include the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, the Bloomberg Foundation, and the

General Motors Foundation. 

Read the Proclamation and FAQs on the Bells of Peace. 

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