by Lucie Roy
This November 11th marks a distinct anniversary.
It is the 100th year of Armistice Day, the end of the First World War.
On November 11 1918, church bells rang out spontaneously across the country to celebrate the signing of the Armistice. After four brutal years and so many young men and women dead or injured the First World War was officially over.
One hundred years ago on November 11 relief and joy swept through Canada.
This year as people commemorate Armistice 100, communities across Canada are encouraged to partake in the Royal Canadian Legion in partnership with Government of Canada Bells of Peace ceremony.
At sunset on November 11, the bells will ring at Parliament Hill, city halls, places of worship, military bases, Naval vessels and at ceremonies across the country to honour the sacrifices of Canadians who served in the 1914-1918 war and commemorate the end of the First World War.
The Bells of Peace will follow a historic journey from East to West as they ring out across the country.
The first bells of Peace will toll in St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador as the sun sets. St. John’s was the departure of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment that was wiped out at Beaumont Hamel France in July 1916.
From there to Halifax where in December 1917 a Norwegian ship collided with a French cargo ship carrying explosives on its way to Europe.
In Alberta Jasper National Park has five mountains named for First World War Victoria Cross recipients with Alberta connections. The peaks are located within a series of mountains known as the Victoria Cross Ranges and honour Private John Chipman Kerr, Private Cecil John Kinross, Captain George Burden McKean, Private John George Pattison and Sergeant Raphael Louis Zenge.