From left: Branch 35 member Sam Stewart, treasurer Cindy Ryan, Sgt.-at-Arms Joe Stewart and his wife Michelle MacDonald stand in front of St. Bees’ Anglican Church with St. Paul United Church in the background.
WESTVILLE — Bells of Peace, a remembrance of those who served in the First World War, will be observed in Westville and elsewhere in the country.
Members of Branch 35 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Westville are among those joining in the gesture that will commemorate the ringing of church bells that erupted across Canada on November 11, 1918 after four years of conflict.
The Bells of Peace initiative is designed to recreate that moment.
Legion branches and communities will encourage churches like those in Westville and other sites equipped with bells or chimes to sound them at sundown once every five seconds for 100 times to signal the centennial of war’s end; they have also been asked to organize community gatherings at that time.
The Bells of Peace event reflects the deep impression the war left on Canadians who served and those who remained at home.
Canada had a population of eight million at the time and made a huge commitment to the war effort as a dominion of the British Empire and joined the fight once Great Britain declared war with its allies in 1914.
Figures show nearly 620,000 Canadians enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the war. Of the approximately 424,000 Canadians who served overseas, about 66,000 were killed during the war and another 172,000 were wounded.