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Tolling the Bells 100 Years After World War One

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today asked municipalities, religious congregations, military installations, organizations and cemeteries to ring bells Sunday, Nov. 11, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

The groups are asked to participate in the tolling of the bells at 11 a.m. Oklahoma time on Nov. 11, the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended hostilities in World War I. The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission is calling on Americans across the nation to toll bells at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month to mark this solemn occasion.

World War I took place between July 1914 and November 1918, and is among the deadliest conflicts in world history. The United States officially entered the war on April 6, 1917. During the conflict, 116,516 Americans were killed, including 1,820 from Oklahoma. More than 200,000 Americans were wounded.

The governor issued a proclamation declaring Nov. 11 as “Bells of Remembrance Day” in Oklahoma, asking Oklahomans to participate in the remembrance.

“The tolling of bells is a traditional expression of honor and remembrance for those who died serving our nation,” said Fallin. “The bell tolling provides a solemn reminder of the sacrifice and service of veterans of World War I, and all veterans.”

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 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.

The World War One Centennial Commission has a page on its website – 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 I veterans.

World War I began in 1914, after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and lasted until 1918. During the conflict, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (the Central Powers) fought against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States (the Allied Powers).

By the time the war was over and the Allied Powers claimed victory, more than 16 million people—soldiers and civilians alike—were dead. More information may be found here.

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