On July 28, 1914, the First World War began. On August 4th, the United Kingdom declared war on Germany, bringing the then Dominion of Canada into the war. Speaking with a friend the night before, the British Foreign Secretary—Sir Edward Grey—remarked that “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”
The threat of aerial bombardments and shelling meant that the nights grew much darker, as opposing forces tried to prevent their enemies from knowing just where they were. Some of the normal joyous sounds of city and village life also quieted so as not to declare their location, and the ringing of church bells ceased.
This year’s Remembrance Day marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the first World War. A century ago, communities spontaneously celebrated with the ringing of bells that had long been silent during the war. Relieved and rejoicing, people around the world began to see the dawn of hope.
To mark the centenary of the end of the World War I, the Royal Canadian Legion has invited Churches and places of Worship with bells to ring them one hundred times, beginning at sunset on November 11th.
Please gather with us on November 11, on the front porch of the church as we join in the Legion’s Bells for Peace initiative. We’ll meet at 4:30, and all present will be able to join in the ringing of our bell as we mark the anniversary. To remember is to work for peace.