On Wednesday, August 5, at 6:15 pm exactly, did you hear the bells ringing? Throughout our city and across our nation, bells rang out clean and clear as a symbol of peace extended over the sound waves, over the ocean, all the way to Japan.
Nagaoka, Japan is Fort Worth’s “sister city” through the organization, Sister Cities, International, who reached out to FUMCFW to see if we could be a part of this unifying, symbolic gesture of peace from one nation to another.
Of course the idea was met with a resounding, “Yes!” Alison Haygood, FUMCFW Bell Choir Director and Peggy Graff, Associate Director of Music & Worship Arts, got together and came up with a way in which we could support this effort. The timing of the bell ringing had to be precisely at 6:15 pm CST because across the ocean, on the other side of the world, bells were coordinated to ring out at 8:15 am on August 6 throughout Japan, the exact time the atomic bomb dropped from the United States aircraft onto the city of Hiroshima and changed all of our lives, forever.
“The ringers were told they could ring any bells they could. Sister Cities encouraged people to ring whatever bells they had on hand,” explains Alison, “So, that way, even if you were at home you could participate in this worldwide event.” She goes on to explain, “We were told to ring for 47 seconds.” This timing represents the 47 seconds it took for the atomic bomb to fall from the plane to the ground.
Alison explains, “Peggy let me know the tower bells were a C, so I chose a pentatonic scale, CDEGA, for our ringers so they would blend with our tower bells. We were all thrilled to be a part of this event and we’re so happy with the way the video turned out as well. Being a historian, myself,” says Alison, “I think it is hugely important for us to continue to remember these moments from our past. It is such a learning moment for our younger generations who might not otherwise grasp the gravity of that moment when the first atomic bomb fell.”
The FUMCFW Bell Choir joined together on the steps of our Sanctuary, beneath her towering bells, to ring out loud and represent the 75 years of peace between our two nations — with lessons learned and hearts full of peaceful hope.
In order to commemorate this important event of peace, the FUMCFW Communications Team compiled a video. We hope you take the time to watch the video and remember our past, so that we may head into the future with lessons learned.
If you’d like to read another article with more information about our involvement with this event, please click here.