Learn More & FAQs
Below you will find answers to the questions our participants have asked about "Tolling the Bells". If you have a question that is not addressed here Contact Us and we will be happy to answer it!
What is the "Bells Of Peace" National Bell Tolling?
"Bells of Peace": A World War I Remembrance is a national tolling of bells in honor of those who served and sacrificed during WWI. It 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. During the short 18 months that America participated in WWI (April 6, 1917 to Nov. 11, 1918), our nation went from a standing army of around 130,000 to deploying nearly 2 million men and women to Europe. This National event is sponsored by the Doughboy Foundation, a non-profit 501C(3) foundation 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; the over 200,000 that were wounded; and most of all, the 116,516 who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Why should we toll the bells?
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 many 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 their ancestors who served in "The War that Changed the World".
When is the National Bell Tolling?
Bells of Peace rolls westward as participants Toll The Bells at 11am local time, November 11.
Where have the "Bells of Peace" Tollings taken place?
Through the grass roots efforts of those who have pledge in the past "Bells of Peace" have tolled aboard military ships, bases and installations, at Washington National Cathedral, in state capitols, city halls and communities, houses of worship, cemeteries, schools, veterans posts, at WWI and other war memorials, and basically anywhere that Americans gather to honor their veterans.
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 with the registration and we will add to our "Participant Roll," plus we will keep you updated as we come to 11:00 a.m. on November 11. That is when you toll your bells slowly 21 times with a five-second interval between tolls. Groups that do not have bells can render the salute by other available means such as guns, cannons, rifles, and sirens.
No bell? No problem.:
We have a free downloadable smartphone APP that can be used right off the phone, with a group of phones or using a public address systems. It is available for iOS and Android smart phones. Search under "Bells of Peace" on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Why is it important to toll the bells 21 times? We would rather toll our bell once in honor of each of our local veterans killed in combat.
It is not important to stick to a specific script. We encourage groups and individuals to adapt their "Toll The Bells" remembrance to their needs.
The reason we offer this 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 ALL ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE 21-GUN SALUTE] .
Is there a specific script to follow?
There is not a specific script. We are building and sharing a tradition together.
In 2018 we held a major ceremony at Washington National Cathedral. Here is the script from that event. Some groups in communities have tolled the bell once for each of their veterans, stating their name before each toll. 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 remembrance, 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.
Many ceremonies conclude with Taps, a moment of silence and some even solemn readings.
Where can I get more information?
If you Pledge to Toll The Bells using the link below, you will get the tools, information and updates that support your participation.