Memorial Day Activities

Ringing of church bells and brief musical commemoration

of a carillon of bells to take place in downtown Marshall 

at the traditional 11 o’clock hour on Veterans Day, November 11

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day in the United States of America. The date of November 11 marked the armistice which was signed in 1918 between the Allies of World War I—which included France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and the United States—and the Central Powers, which included Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria.

The Armistice between the Allies and the Central Powers was signed in Compiegne, France to proclaim the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front which would take place that morning, November 11, 1918. That was how the tradition of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” began.

In 1954, U.S. Representative Edward Rees of Kansas proposed a bill that would change Armistice Day to Veterans Day. That year, Congress passed the bill which President Dwight Eisenhower signed, proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day.

This year, on Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11, the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” will be commemorated in downtown Marshall with the ringing of church bells at 11:00am, in coordination with the 11:00am chimes of the restored 1901 Harrison County Courthouse.

The ringing of the bells will be done by three downtown churches—Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Joseph Catholic Church, and First United Methodist Church. 

Following the ringing of the bells, the newly-installed, beautiful carillon of bells of the First United Methodist Church of Marshall, located one block east of the Courthouse Square, will play patriotic music to pay tribute to the brave service and sacrifice of all veterans, as well as those who currently serve in the military.

Following the playing of the patriotic music, “Taps” will be played to end the brief commemoration. 

Christina Anderson, the volunteer who has headed the coordination of the Marshall-Harrison County Community Veterans Day program for many years, shared: “As our veterans and community members may know, we usually have a program at the traditional 11 o’clock hour on Veterans Day to honor and express appreciate to our local veterans for their brave service and sacrifice to protect our nation.”

This is the service that had originally been held at the Marshall Mall and more recently at Memorial City Hall. Last year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, an outdoor procession of county, city, and community vehicles around the Courthouse Square was held at the 11 o’clock hour.

Ms. Anderson added: “When we received the news that the Marshall Elks Lodge was planning a wonderful Veterans Parade for the Saturday after Veterans Day on November 13, I contacted the veterans and veteran organizations with whom I coordinate each year for the annual program and the consensus was they felt that a full program would not be necessary this year on Veterans Day since the Elks Lodge was sponsoring a Veterans Parade on Saturday, November 13.”  

But, Ms. Anderson went on to explain that, even though there would not be the full Veterans Day program this year, they still wanted to honor our veterans and commemorate the traditional “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” 

So, she shared that, to honor and pay tribute to our veterans on Veterans Day, there will be a large sign of appreciation displayed on the lawn west of The Marshall Grand, in addition to the American flags provided by the Rotary Club of Marshall and, at 11:00am, the very brief bell and musical commemoration, described above, would take place.

Ms. Anderson added, “Though brief, this musical commemoration at the 11 o’clock hour on Veterans Day is designed to convey the profound and abiding gratitude that our community wishes to express to all veterans for their courageous service and sacrifice for our nation. There are not enough words to convey the deep appreciation we feel—not just on Veterans Day, but every day—on behalf of all Americans.”

Special thanks to the all our veterans and veteran organizations. Thank you also to the members of Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Joseph Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus, and First United Methodist Church for collaborating on the ringing of bells with the Harrison County Courthouse.

Also, an additional thank you to Reverend David Luckert, Pastor of the First United Methodist Church (FUMC), for graciously coordinating the playing of patriotic music for the commemoration with the church’s new, beautiful carillon of bells.

Veterans and community members are encouraged to attend or participate in the Veterans Parade, sponsored by the Marshall Elks Lodge #683. The parade will take place on Saturday, November 13 at 10:00am.  

The deadline for entries into the parade is November 8. For more information about the Veterans Parade, please call Melanie Valdez at (903) 407-5251 or Kelly Baker at (903) 472-3306 or Jackie Degner (903) 407-8840.  ##

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