Thursday, February 5, 2015

'Bells across the land': April 9 ringing will mark 150th anniversary of war's end

(NPS photo)

Communities are being asked to take part in a nationwide bell-ringing in April that will mark the 150th anniversary of the symbolic end of the Civil War.

The National Park Service and Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in Virginia are inviting churches, temples, schools, city halls and other public institutions to take part in the commemoration at precisely 3:15 p.m. on April 9. Bells will ring for four minutes, each ring to mark one year of the war.

“We ask participants to ring bells across the nation as a gesture to mark the end of the bloody conflict in which more than 750,000 Americans perished,” the park service said in a press release this week. “Some communities may ring their bells in celebration of freedom or a restored Union, others as an expression of mourning and a moment of silence for the fallen. Sites may ring bells to mark the beginning of reconciliation and reconstruction, or as the next step in the continuing struggle for civil rights.”

The bells will ring first at 3 p.m. at Appomattox, to coincide with the historic meeting between Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the McLean House in the small village in southwestern Virginia.

While Lee surrendered his army in Virgnia, fighting continued elsewhere across the South for more than a month, culminating with the capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Georgia.

Officials are encouraging those who take part to share how they observed it at #BellsAcrosstheLand2015.

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and its friends group have many other sesquicentennial events scheduled for April 8 through April 12. See the schedule here. The park is looking for volunteers to assist in programming.

1 comment:

  1. Our church does not have bells, but if there were an mp3 recording of 150 bell rings we could stick our speakers out the window and play them at 3:15pm on April 9. Know where I might find such a recording?