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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
PEACE: A WORLD WAR ONE REMEMBRANCE.
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:
ww1cc.org/bells 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.