Let Freedom Ring – November 11, 2021

Photo by Thomas Loizeau on Unsplash.

November 11, 2021 by David T Sargant

You will hear bells on November 11, 2021 throughout your Town at 11:00
AM. It likely will be a cold and blustery day, not unlike those in the past, and
more importantly, the day to commemorate the 103rd anniversary of the end
of the “War to End All Wars.” WW1 took place between July 1914 and
November 1918 was one of the deadliest conflicts in world history. 116,516
American soldiers were killed before the signing of the armistice on November
11, 1918. How innocent have we been...and who of us know why the number
21? Townspeople will gather at the Town Hall that morning to attend the
Town’s recognition of this date and the service of its veterans in hostilities in
wars after the “War to End All Wars”. They might wonder why 21 bells are
rung as they listen at 10:50AM ...it is an interesting question.

The number originates from naval tradition, where a warship would fire its
cannons harmlessly out to sea, until ammunition was spent, to show that it
was disarmed, signifying the lack of hostile intent. It is an ancient ceremony
traced to the Middle Ages practice that one has been placed in an unarmed
position and, therefore, in the honor of those being honored. The system of
firing an odd round (3) is said to have been a way of economizing powder.
This procedure was changed due to the lack of sodium nitrate, from whence
gunpowder came, which was easier to keep dry and on land.

And then there’s the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier...guarded 24 hours a day,
365 days of the year...every second of every minute while guards pace their 21
steps. God Bless those “Unknown” who, a century ago, stepped forward for
my freedom and those of my friends and family. I look forward to the
remembrance and honor you bestow upon them on ARMISTICE DAY...

David T Sargent
15 Condito Road
Hingham, MA

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