WINCHESTER – On Nov. 11, 100 years ago, bells rang spontaneously across Canada to celebrate the signing of the armistice.

After four brutal years, with countless young men and women dead or injured, the First World War was over.

Relief and joy swept the land.

To mark the occasion, and to forever hold the memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, communities throughout the country are once again banding together in a centennial celebration.

Led by the Royal Canadian Legion, Armistice 100 is being marked with the Bells of Peace ceremony.

On Sun., Nov. 11, as the sun goes down, bells will be rung 100 times in honour of those veterans who served, more than 650,000 of them, in the global conflict. Of that, 172,000 were wounded, and countless others suffered invisible yet painful scars.

In Winchester, Branch 108 will be paying tribute at Sweet Corner Park with a sundown ceremony at 4:37 pm. Churches in the village will also be taking part in the initiative.

 

The village’s Remembrance Day ceremony was held Sun., Nov. 4, with a procession from Winchester’s Royal Canadian Legion branch to the public school, followed by the laying of wreaths at the foot of the war memorial outside Winchester District Memorial Hospital. Libby Pelkey, whose sons served with the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan, laid a wreath on behalf of the St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church Ladies Aid Society. At left is Legion member Dale Myers.

Bugler Shaun Steele played both the “Last Post” and “Reveille,” while over his shoulder, Jason Reed, the Legion’s sergeant at arms, stood at attention.

Chris Renwick led the Ottawa Police Pipe Band during the parade.

Derek, Chris, Al, and Thomas Van Bridger laid a wreath in honour of J.W. Van Bridger, a Second World War Veteran and seven decade member of the village Legion. Pictured at left is Kim Sheldrick, branch member.

Branch members Neal MacIsaac and Don Swerdfeger. Uhrig Photos