Ringing bells to mark anniversary of WWI
Arkansas will observe Sunday’s 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I with a memorial ringing of bells at 11 a.m. by different organizations throughout the state.
The official observance is being hosted by the Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee at the plaza in front of the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, 503 E. Ninth St., Little Rock. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. and is free to the public.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson proclaimed Nov. 11 as “Bells of Peace: World War I ReA
membrance Day.” Organizations and individuals wanting to participate will ring bells 11 times at 11 a.m. Sunday to remember those who served in the war and celebrate its ending.
The number of times bells will be rung, the time of day and the date are all in recognition of the signing of the Armistice that ended hostilities in World War I being at 11 a.m., Nov. 11, 1918 — the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
A complete list of other sites observing the anniversary by groups that registered with the commission to hold a sanctioned, bell-ringing event can be found online at wwiarkansas.com/events/2018-11-11bells-of-peace. They include sites in Springdale, Jonesboro, Conway, Perryville, Bryant, Arkadelphia and Camden.
More than 71,000 soldiers from Arkansas served during World War I and about 2,100 died from wounds or illnesses. Another 1,700 were wounded or injured.
The event will mark the end of the work by the Centennial Committee, part of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Hutchinson formed the committee to recognize the state’s contributions to the war.
The Arkansas World War I Centennial Committee has been working with public and private organizations and citizens around the state to remember Arkansans who served in the war. Efforts included partnering with the Arkansas Forestry Commission to plant memorial trees in all 75 counties.
The committee had sanctioned 156 observances and events through September drawing almost 80,000 attendees, according to committee figures.