Wednesday, 16 May 2018 11:34

Ringing of Bells Nov 11th to Reflect on 100th Anniversary of WWI Armistice

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Gathering recently to discuss plans for this celebration and reflection were, from left: Dan Allen, Rev. Jeff Knox, Rev. Anne Wichelns, Rev. Debbie Johnson, and Samantha Linn. Gathering recently to discuss plans for this celebration and reflection were, from left: Dan Allen, Rev. Jeff Knox, Rev. Anne Wichelns, Rev. Debbie Johnson, and Samantha Linn. Submitted photo

The signing of the Armistice between the Allies and Germany, ending WWI took place at Compiègne, France, taking effect at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month,” in 1918.

This year and especially on November 11, 2018, the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, will be a time and day of remembrance and commemoration, as we honor those who served and who died during WWI, and reflect on the toll of war.

An Oswego County WWI Commemoration Project was recently initiated with the idea of providing a means for local communities and organizations to join and participate in a variety of commemorative activities and programs centered on the 100th Anniversary of the ending of the Great War. Two planned activities involve direct support and participation within the county’s religious community.

“We are asking all places of worship on Sunday, November 11, 2018 at exactly 11 a.m. to ring their bells for one minute to commemorate the moment at which the Great War ended, 100 years earlier,” said Dan Allen, of the Oswego County WWI Commemoration Project.

“We are also asking religious leaders of all faiths during your worship services to give a sermon (or talk appropriate to your religious customs) as a reflection on the words of a young soldier from WWI,” Allen said. “While we leave the context of these “Promise of Peace” sermons to each individual, by honoring World War I Veterans, we honor their yearning to fight for peace.”

The following words were written by Corporal Arthur Ingram of the Canadian Army to Rev. Richmond Gesner, Rector of Christ Church, in Oswego, NY. Before joining the Canadian Army, Corporal Ingram lived in Oswego, NY. He was wounded in France, and died in a hospital in England, his native country. His letter to Rev. Gesner was published in the Oswego Daily Times June 15, 1916 issue:

“About half the time, I have been in the front line, sometimes not more than sixty yards from the enemy. We go back every little while for a few days’ rest, and it is certainly great to be away from the noise and gloom of the firing line, where what was once a beautiful wooded country is just a shelled, broken-up, muddy mess. Not a twig on any tree is alive, but the one link we have with nature is the birds. There are some fine songsters out here, and the more intense the bombardment, the harder they seem to sing. They just sound great in contrast with the guns. When I hear them, it seems like a promise of peace. No doubt that seems strange to you, but being out here makes one think things that would not come to his mind in time of peace.”

The Rev. Anne Wichelns at the Church of the Resurrection, 120 West 5th St., Oswego, will host a meeting in the Great Hall on June 14, 2018 from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m., to discuss the program and exchange ideas for “Promise of Peace” sermons. To find out more or to let us know you will attend, please call or text Dan Allen at 315-591-2842, or email [email protected]

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