Bells will ring out again throughout Washington County this Veterans Day. At the urging of Dana Haff, Hartford town supervisor, churches throughout the county and one in West Pawlet, Vt., will ring their bells for one minute as a revival of an old tradition to honor veterans.
Haff said he started sending out letters to area churches three years ago, after a member of the Fort Ann American Legion wanted his church and others to ring bells on Nov. 11. Haff, who was incidentally a bell-ringer at the Hartford Methodist church, was happy to help.
“This is a worthwhile thing; why just two churches, why not all the churches in Washington County?” Haff said.
Haff said the number of participating churches doubled from the first year to the second, and he hopes to see an even bigger increase this November. He said the bells are part of a practice going back in New York state to Armistice Day in 1920.
“They ring at 11 a.m. because that symbolizes when the Treaty of Versailles was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” Haff said.
This year, because Veterans Day falls on a Sunday, local churches wishing to participate will have to figure out how to fit the bell tolling in with their service.
In Granville, there will be a Veterans Day parade on Sunday, Nov. 11, beginning with a 10 a.m. ceremony at the high school. The parade will start at 11 a.m. on Main Street, and will continue to Veterans Park.
For more information about the parade, contact Edward Lobo at 518-683-6026. For information about the bell tolling, call Haff at 518-632-9178 or email [email protected].