BELLS OF PEACE - 2018 REMEMBRANCE DAY INITIATIVE

Nov 11 2018

BELLS OF PEACE

A REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE WHO SERVED IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR

(edited and abbreviated text)

INTRODUCTION

The Royal Canadian Legion was born from the ashes of the First World War (WWI). As Canada's largest veterans' organization and in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada, we have been handed this torch of remembrance by our founders to hold high and to never forget the sacrifices made in the name of Canada and for Canadians.

On 11 November 2018, 100 years will have passed since the signing of the armistice that officially ended WWI. As a tribute to all Canadians that served in this horrific struggle we are producing a program of remembrance for those from that era - an event that allows Canadians, if only for a moment, to stop, to remember and to feel, perhaps for a second, the joy that peace brought after so much death and destruction. Religious Organizations across the Country are asked to assist us in achieving this goal by reaching out to their different branches and asking if they would participate by ringing their Bells at sunset on November 11, 2018. Our hope is all who hear the Bells will stop and focus on the loss and sacrifice both on the battlefield and at home. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance in helping us remember the Veterans who served in WW1.

AIM

To create a remembrance event that highlights the sacrifices of Canadians who served in WWI.

DISCUSSION

General

The war to end all wars left an indelible impression on Canada.

Some 619,636 Canadians enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the war, and approximately 424,000 served overseas. Close to 61,000 Canadians were killed during the war, and another 172,000 were wounded. Many more returned home broken in mind and body. The Dominion of Newfoundland suffered 1,305 killed and several thousand wounded. Of the more than 172,000 Canadians who reported wounds during the war, medical authorities classified approximately 138,000 as battle casualties. Of the wounded who survived, 3,461 men and one woman had a limb amputated. No reliable method existed for tracking or treating psychological casualties, but authorities identified over 9,000 Canadians as suffering from "shell shock". (https://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/after-the-war/legacy/)

This was an enormous contribution from a population of just under 8 million in 1914. Approximately seven percent of the total population of Canada was in uniform at some point during the war, and hundreds of thousands of additional Canadians worked on the home front in support of the war.

If you were to extrapolate from the numbers listed above, it could be claimed that the majority of the population in Canada at that time was touched in some capacity by the war. Further to this you could also state that there were at least 425,000 families that were intimately affected as their loved ones faced the brunt of the tragedy that is war.

If we are to remember those that fought, we need to drive home the message of the horror of war and its effect on the society that wages it. That includes the families that had to live with the unknown and after the war with the after-effects related to those who returned with injuries both visible and invisible.

Remembrance Event - The Ringing of Bells

Bells call us to wake, to pray, to work, to arms, to feast and, in times of crisis, to come together. "On November 11, 1918, the ringing of church bells erupted spontaneously across the country, as an outpouring of relief that four years of war had come to an end. (BBC news http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-41957521 )."

The Bells of Peace initiative is designed to emulate that moment of remembrance in honour of our veterans who served in WWI.

Activities requested

In order to create a unified remembrance action in Canada we are requesting that all Churches/House of Worships/Religious Organizations in Canada who possess a bell(s) participate Nationally in the following activities:

 Engage all community Churches Organizations (equipped with bells) to request their individual assistance;

 The bell(s) would be tolled 100 times with 5 seconds between tolls;

Each community bell would start the ringing at the going down of the sun on November 11, 2018 as per the sunset timing in their area;

* Winnipeg November 11

Sunset - 4:49 PM

End of twilight - 5:24 PM

It is also requested that any community Churches/Religious Organizations that are willing to be involved in this activity to please send an email to PGagne@legion.ca

Memoriam Eorum Retinebimus

We Will Remember Them

Ми їх пам'ятатимемо


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