MORE INFORMATION & FAQs
Below are answers to the questions participants have asked in the past. If you have a question that is not addressed here
What is the "Bells Of Peace" National Bell Tolling?
This National WWI Remembrance is sponsored by the Doughboy Foundation, a non-profit 501C(3) that is dedicated to keeping faith with the American Doughboys and all those who served in WWI. No veteran should ever be forgotten, and so on our National Veterans Day holiday we are encouraging all to take a moment to remember the 4.7 million Americans who put on the uniform in WWI; the over 200,000 that were wounded; and most of all, the 116,516 who made the ultimate sacrifice. Bells of Peace takes place annually on the 11th hour (local) of the 11th day of the 11th month. That is the same moment when in 1918 the guns fell silent, and the fighting ceased on the Western Front.
Just as Armistice Day grew into Veterans Day to encompass all those who served - we think Bells of Peace is a wonderful way to start Veterans Day commemorations to extend to all those who have ever served.
Why toll bells to commemorate?
Tolling of bells is the traditional way to mark someone’s passing. On special national occasions, bells are tolled in honor of the fallen.
In the past 5 years, tens of thousands have pledged to "Toll The Bells" including: branches and units of the US military, states, municipalities, legislative organizations, Veterans Service Organizations, DAR chapters, churches and other religious organizations, patriotic organizations, civic groups, historical societies, scouts, schools, libraries, company employee organizations, unions, communications media, social media, and perhaps most poignantly individuals and families simply remembering and honoring their family members who have served.
Exactly when is the National Bell Tolling? And why?
Bells of Peace rolls westward as participants Toll The Bells at 11am local time, November 11.
In 1918, the WWI Armisitice went into effect on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month. The guns fell silent and the fighting stopped on the western front. Church and city bells all over Europe began to toll. In keeping with that, Bells of Peace is observed at that same time, based on local time of day.
How can my community group participate?
Start by pledging your participation. If you are an organization, when you pledge to participate, we invite you to include your logo or a picture of your organization with the registration and we will post your participation to our social media channels and add it to our National Bells of Peace Participants Wall. By registering we will also keep you updated with any news as we come to 11:00 a.m. on November 11.
If your city hall, church or fire station has a bell, We suggest you approach your city, church or station management and ask them to toll the Bell of Peace at 11am on 11/11. Be sure to register their participation as an organization and include their logo so we can add them to our "Participants Wall".
Can I share our social media posts with the Bells of Peace community?
YES. Post about your participation on social media using the hashtag #bellsofpeace and your post will be forwarded to us for inclusion on our National Bells of Peace Participants Wall. Your posts will also show up in the social sharing tab in the Bells Of Peace Participation App.
Will you include every post your receive on the Participants Wall?
We reserve the right to curate the Participants Wall at our sole discresion. That said, yes we will try to include every post that is tagged with #BellsOfPeace. If you do not see your post there could be several reasons.
- Did you get the hashtag right? #BellsOfPeace is the tag. Capitalization does not matter but you must include the hash character and no spaces.
- Was your post commercial? We do not include anything that we condider a commercial messages. This is intended to share your Bells of Peace commemoration with other interested participants. We happily support your Bells of Peace commemoration event, but not your business, organization's recruitment, books, merchandise, donation requests, etc...
- Was your post appropriate? What does that mean? We are not sure, but certainly no politics, no issues, and nothing off-topic.
- We are a very small team, so your post may take 48 hours + to get included.
- If your post or a very similar one from you has previously been included, or there are multiple reposts - we will try to include the main one.
- If you sent us a logo or picture from your organization when your registered, we may have posted your participation through our own social media platforms. Check further back to around the date your registered.
We don't have a bell. What should we do?
As we like to quip: "No Bells? No Problem!"
A great solution is our free downloadable Bells of Peace Partication APP that can be used right off your smartphone, with a group of phones or from your phone using a public address systems. The App is available for iOS and Android smartphones. Go to the Bells of Peace Participation App page to learn more.
Do we have to follow a specific script?
There is no specific script. We are building and sharing a tradition together.
In 2018, for the centennial of the Armistice, we held a major ceremony at Washington National Cathedral. Here is the script from that event.
Some communities have tolled the bell once for each of their veterans, stating their name before each peal. Other groups have gathered with a myriad of hand bells and dinner bells and just rung them for a while to celebrate the peace, followed by 2 minutes of solemn silence to commemorate the sacrifice.
No matter what you feel is right for your community, the important thing is to take a breath and a moment to thank all those who served in WWI, and know that as long as you perform that simple act of honor - our Doughboys and all those who served in WWI will not have sacrificed in vain and will never be forgotten by those they sacrificed for.
Some ceremonies conclude with Taps, a moment of silence and some even solemn readings.
The reason we offer 21 bells as a main scenario is because 21 peals of the bell symbolizes the nation's highest honor and is based on the 21-gun salute, Click here to learn more about the history of the 21-gun salute.
Groups that do not have bells or cannot use the Bells of Peace Participation App, can render the salute by other available means such as guns, cannons, rifles, and sirens.