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Bells of Peace

Loveland Comes Together to Honor Veterans and Tradition

This Veterans Day, like years past, veterans and community members will come together to ring bells through Loveland at 4 a.m. Why so early? 4 a.m. in Loveland is 11 a.m. in Paris, the place and time where World War I officially ended on Nov. 11, 1918, during an armistice agreement.

World War I is named as one of the deadliest conflicts in history, and its brutality spanned over four years, beginning in July 1914. The United States entered the war on April 6, 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson called for a declaration of war against Germany after the sinking of multiple U.S. merchant ships, among the rise of other tensions developing between Germany and the Allies. Congress granted his request, and the introduction of U.S. troops influenced a major turning point in the war, helping to lead the Allies to victory. This victory, however, came at a grievous price. More than 2 million American soldiers went to battle in Western Europe, and 50,000 of them never came home.

The story goes that while the Armistice has been celebrated in Loveland since 1918, the tradition of ringing bells did not start until 1956. It was at this time that two veteran brothers, Wayne and Harry Bath, managed to get a 500-pound school bell into the back of their truck and proceeded to drive around town in the early morning on Veterans Day. This tribute to servicemen and women became an annual tradition from there, taking place in cities across the nation to honor those who served and continue to serve our country.

The bell-ringing has become an emblem of what it means to be part of a community and to honor those who risked everything. Each year, bells of all shapes and sizes make an appearance in the backs of trucks as individuals cruise through the brisk air of morning to recognize the sacrifices so many have made in the name of their country. This Veterans Day, we can look forward to coming together to hear the bells of peace let freedom ring.