Sunset bell ceremony to mark end of WWI

Local church bells to ring 100 times to mark 100th Anniversary and honor the more than 188,000 soldiers who died or were injured in the four-year conflict.

Bells will ring across Brandon on Sunday evening to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

As part of its 2018 Remembrance Day service, the Royal Canadian Legion - Veterans Affairs will host a “Bells of Peace” initiative that will see bells ring 100 times at sunset in communities across Canada.

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Locally, the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) Brandon Branch No. 3 will host a gathering to mark the occasion beginning at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Russell Street. Candles will be provided for attendees to pay their respects to war veterans alongside coffee.

The bells at churches across the city will begin ringing at 5:01 p.m.

The ceremony has been set up to emulate the ringing of church bells across Europe and Canada on Nov. 11, 1918 when the end of the First World War was announced. Besides marking the anniversary, the bells will honor the 66,000 Canadians who died and 172,000 injured during the four-year conflict.

The RCL and Veterans Affairs set up the cross-country program to engage the public – particularly youth – in marking the 100th year since the close of the “War to End All Wars.” Bells will also ring on Parliament Hill, at city halls, places of worship, military bases, naval vessels and at special ceremonies in honor of Canada’s Veterans, moving across the country from St. John’s, Nfld. to Vancouver Island, B.C. with the sunset.

When the bells ring on Parliament Hill, residents in Mons, Belgium will hear them too. Church bells in the European town – the last to be freed by Canadians – will ring simultaneously.

Two other Remembrance Day events are planned for earlier in the day on Nov. 11.

RCL Brandon will host its annual ceremony at Westoba Place beginning with the Marching of the Colors at 10:55 a.m. The service will follow immediately after. The public has been asked to be in their seats by 10:40 a.m.

In the afternoon, a free open house is scheduled to take place from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum (CATPM) and the Royal Canadian Air Force Second World War Memorial, located adjacent to the Brandon Municipal Airport. This event will include guided tours alongside refreshments from the CATPM Ladies Auxiliary.

In Ottawa, Remembrance Day services are planned for the National War Memorial from 9:15 to 11 a.m. local time. These services are generally televised, but are also being made available through the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command's Facebook page.

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