This Sunday, 11 November 2018, at 11.00AM, we mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Corpus Christi Catholic Community and St Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church will join others across Charleston and across the United States in ringing our bells 21 times in solemn remembrance of the sacrifice and service of veterans of World War I. Tolling of bells is the traditional way to mark someone’s passing. On special national occasions, bells are tolled in honor of the fallen. In the war, 116,516 Americans died and over 200,000 were wounded.
11th Month, 11th Day, 11th Hour
10:59. The seconds slowly trudge
Over the top of the eleventh hour
When shells and whiz bangs cease their lethal shower;
We hold our breath and watch the minute budge.
The church bells peal in joy, but time will judge
If this is lasting peace or brooding power.
On monuments crepe paper poppies flower;
What winds will fan the embers of this grudge?
In cold November, roses wither fast
In Picardy. Bare stalks in Flanders fields
Give way to frost where once the poppy yield
Was blood-splattered vermillion. Will peace last?
If only for this moment, we are blest.
The war is finished. Consummatum est.