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Visiting LBC 960 X 480 1Visitors to Independence Park can view the Liberty Bell through a magnificent glass chamber from outside, or inside the Liberty Bell Center from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm daily on a first-come, first-served basis.

Bells of Peace Update

The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is onboard as the Honorary Bell of Peace

By Betsy Anderson
Program Coordinator, Bells of Peace, United States World War One Centennial Commission

BOP Logo 200The World War I Centennial Commission and the National Park Service have designated the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia as the Honorary Bell of Peace to commemorate the Centennial of the Armistice on November 11, as part of the Commission's nationwide Bells of Peace project.

The Liberty Bell, the most prominent and revered bell in the nation, is on display in Philadelphia at the National Park Service’s Independence Park. According to the Independence Historical Trust, on July 8, 1776, the day that the Declaration was read aloud behind the State House (now Independence Hall), “all the bells in the city rang throughout the day and it is assumed that the State House bell (now the Liberty Bell) was among them.”

After an attempt to repair a crack that had begun some time before, the Liberty Bell rang for the last time in February 1846 to celebrate George Washington’s birthday. The ringing lengthened the crack to its now-familiar appearance.

National Park Service Interpretive Specialist Bill Caughlin explained that history of the Liberty Bell is closely entwined with American involvement in World War I. Philadelphia Mayor Thomas Smith tapped it to announce the first war bond drive in June 1917, and the bell’s image appeared in countless posters advertising Liberty Bonds, which citizens were encouraged to buy to help pay for the war. Songwriters Joe Goodwin and Halsey K. Moore composed “Liberty Bell - It’s Time to Ring Again” and their song reached the Top Five in 1918.

After the war, Allied leaders visited the bell, including the King and Queen of Belgium and Field Marshal Joseph Joffre of France, who said little, but kissed the bell, according to the National Park Service. General John J. Pershing visited the bell on September 12, 1919, and was presented with a small golden Liberty Bell in recognition of his leadership of American armies in the World War.

Visitors to Independence Park can view the Liberty Bell through a magnificent glass chamber from outside, or inside the Liberty Bell Center from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm daily on a first-come, first-served basis.

The National Park Service will toll the Centennial Bell, which was placed in Independence Hall in 1876, at 11:11 a.m. on November 11, 2018, to mark the Centennial of the Armistice that ended “the war that changed the world.” The Liberty Bell, silent in her enclosure nearby, will stand witness to the commemoration as the Honorary Bell of Peace, sustaining her place as the indelible symbol of the freedom of our Republic.

About Bells of Peace

The World War One Centennial Commission, along with the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, the Society of the Honor Guard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, are sponsoring Bells of Peace: A World War One Remembrance. Bells of Peace is a collaborative program, whereby American citizens and organizations, across the entire country, are invited to toll bells in their communities twenty-one times on Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. local time.

Conceived and designed in collaboration with the nation’s veterans of service with the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the bell tolling provides a solemn reminder of the sacrifice and service of veterans of World War I, and all veterans.

Bells will be tolled in communities across the nation, in places of worship, schools, town halls, public carillons, and cemeteries, to mark the centennial of the Armistice that brought an end to hostilities, in what Americans fervently hoped had been “The War to End All Wars.”

This nationwide program is designed to honor those American men and women who served one hundred years ago, during World War One. The war ended by an armistice agreement between the warring countries at 11 a.m. on November 11th, 1918.

The World War I Centennial Commission has created a page on its website: https://ww1cc.org/bells where people can find information and tools to conduct the bell tolling, and to meaningfully commemorate the service of their local World War One veterans.

World War One took place between July 1914 and November 1918, and was one of the deadliest conflicts in world history. Over nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a result of the war. The United States officially entered the war on April 6th, 1917. Some 4.7 million Americans stepped forward to serve in uniform during the war, 2 million of them were deployed overseas to fight, and 116,516 of them never made it
home.

The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission was established by Congress in 2013 to provide education programs, public outreach, and commemorative events regarding the American involvement in the war. The Centennial Commission was also authorized by Congress to create a new national-level memorial in the nation's capital, to honor the men and women who served. Information on the new National World War One Memorial can be found at www.ww1cc.org/memorial.