Ring­ing bells to mark an­niver­sary of WWI

El Dorado News-Times - - News - Jake San­dlin Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette

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 Re­mem­brance 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/2018-11-11-bells-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.

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