BRIDGETOWN, N.S. - With the going down of the sun, they remembered.
Bridgetown was among many communities across Canada where bells rang out just around sunset on Nov. 11. They rang 100 times.
“These bells are very significant because at the end of the First World War in France the bells spontaneously rang when…the armistice was at 11 o’clock on the 11th day of the 11th month and here it is 100 years later,” said Bridgetown Legion president Brinton Forbes. “It’s very significant to commemorate that very special day. I am just pleased that our Legion in Bridgetown can be part of it and it makes me proud to be president of this particular Legion branch.”
While Forbes himself, along with a handful of helpers, rang an old school bell temporarily attached to the side of the Legion, Bridgetown’s army cadets, affiliated with the West Nova Scotia Regiment, split up and went to various churches in the town to help ring the bells at those locations.
“It’s a pleasure to be part of the Bells of Peace initiative set out by the Canadian Legion,” said Captain William Henderson. “The cadets are here to participate in ringing the bells 100 times in two or three venues in the Bridgetown area. It’s a privilege that will come only once in a lifetime to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the armistice of the First World War.”
Henderson said the cadets understand the solemnity, the privilege, and the importance of the role they played in the Bells of Peace.
At the Legion, cadets took turns ringing the bell 10 times each with Forbes and several civilians also taking part.
“The ringing of bells emulates the moment in 1918 when church bells across Europe tolled as four years of war had come to an end,” the Royal Canadian Legion said on its website.
Bells of Peace also rang in nearby Lawrencetown, in Middleton, and Annapolis Royal.