Church bell will toll 100 times on November 11
to remember the end of WWI
By Helen Hall
November 8, 2018
At the setting of the sun, they will remember them.
The youth of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in downtown Kitchener will start ringing its bell 100 times at 5pm on November 11.
They are taking part in the Bells of Peace remembrance initiative being organized by Legions across Canada to re-enact the bells that rang in local churches across Europe and in Canada 100 years ago on November 11 to mark the end of the First World War.
Pastor Mark Ehlebracht of St. Peter’s said they were informed of the Bells of Peace program by Branch 50 of the Royal Canadian Legion (Fred Gies branch) in Kitchener and were glad to take part.
“We honour those who served Canada, past and present, by ringing these bells as symbols of peace, victory, relief and joy,” Ehlebracht said.
“The hope is that all who hear the Bells will stop and focus on the loss and sacrifice both on the battlefield and at home, and to feel, perhaps for a second, the joy that peace brought after so much death and destruction.”
The Bells of Peace program is geared toward youth remembering the sacrifices of war, so it is fitting that the youth group at St. Peter’s will be ringing its bell.
There are about 10 youth in the group and they are led by Kris McGee. St. Peter’s is located on Queen Street North, between Duke and Weber.
Although the church has been located on this site since 1863 (after they bought the piece of land for $178.50), the current structure was built in the 1960s with a tall, free standing bell tower in the courtyard in front of the church. It is rung electronically from inside the building.
On November 11, there will be five seconds between each toll of the bell.
Sundown has been chosen to reflect a line from the poem “For the Fallen” by Robert Laurence Binyon that is recited at Legion meetings.
“At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
In Ottawa, the Peace Tower bells will ring in sync with those in Mons, Belgium, the final town liberated by the Canadian Corps in 1918.
Don Gingrich, Poppy Chair for the Kitchener Legion said “it’s appropriate” that St. Peter’s has offered to ring its bell, as the church is located not far from the Cenotaph on Frederick Street in downtown Kitchener.
The Kitchener Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremony will be held on Sunday, November 11, 2018. The Parade will start at the corner of Duke and Frederick Streets. The service will start at 10:45 am at the Cenotaph on Frederick Street.
Kitchener’s German Remembrance Service will be held Sunday, November 18, 2018 at Woodland Cemetery at 2:30 pm.
For more information about the Kitchener Legion and its activities, visit www.rclbr50.ca/.
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church youth group member Cameron McGee will be one of the youth from his church that will ring its bell 100 times at sunset on November 11 to mark 100 years since the end of World War I.
Photo by Helen Hall