When you hear bells (including ours!) pealing throughout Fort Worth next Wednesday, August 5, at 6:15 and Saturday at 9:02 pm, you may want to know what it’s all about!
It’s about peace. The growth of peace and understanding between two nations for 75 years following a devastating, literally earth-shaking event.
Chances are you don’t actually remember the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You may have only read about it in history books. Because this year marks 75 years of peace between The United States of America and Japan, Fort Worth Sister Cities International is inviting churches and other faith communities, schools, individuals (anyone who owns a bell of any sort, in fact) to ring their bells in unison at this designated time to demonstrate that peaceful relationships, despite serious differences, peace is possible — and attainable.
Ringing for Peace is a citywide event organized by Sister Cities International to remember the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and honor all who were affected by this devastating humanitarian event. (These dates are one day before the actual date in Japan because they are one day ahead in time.) According to Harvey Yamagata of Sister Cities, “The purpose of this event is to promote peace and understanding between our two peoples.”
To organize this moment of remembrance and hope, Sister Cities has contacted all churches, schools, etc. in Fort Worth that have bells and bell ringing groups and as many individuals as possible to participate in the bell ringing.
Here at First Church, Peggy Graff will ring our tower bells and our (socially-distanced) handbell choir led by Alison Haygood, FUMCFW Bell Choir Director, will ring from the Church’s West parking lot.
Peggy says that when she asked Alison if her handbell choir would like to join in, Alison immediately agreed — responded very favorably to having her bell choir members participate in this meaningful event.
“They’ll each have two bells, one in each hand, probably a C-chord,” Peg says. Participating will be Alison Haygood, Aaron Hampton, Jayme Vaughn-Linebarger, Avary Vaughn, Linda Moore, and Matthew Roth.
“Although this observance is about those two specific events, it is also a vital reminder to our collective consciousness that even with all that is happening in the world right now, peace is possible,” Peggy says. She adds that by becoming part of this overarching symbol of peace we all take a moment in the day to stop and think about what we can do to bring peace to the world. It’s not just about what the country can do, but what each person can do to help bring about peace — in large ways and small.
These bells ringing in unison citywide will remind us all of something that happened long ago that was so tragic, so unthinkable,” Peggy continues. “It’s also an action — a symbol of our doing something. I believe that Ringing for Peace will also trigger a collective desire to create peace now, in our lives today, in addition to remembering together something that happened a long time ago.”
So next Wednesday evening at 6:15 pm, if you have a bell, ring it from the safety of your home; if not, go outside and listen for this collective, citywide celebration of peace!