Upstate, NY Celebrates “Bells Across the Land"

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Date: April 8, 2015
Contact: Willie Scott, 315-338-7730

Rome, NY – For the past four years, the National Park Service and many other organizations and individuals have been commemorating the 150thAnniversary of the Civil War and the continuing efforts for human rights today. On April 9, 1865, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant met Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to set the terms of surrender of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

In conjunction with a major event at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, the National Park Service and its partners invite communities across the nation to join in this commemoration. The bells will ring first at Appomattox at 3:00 p.m. on April 9, 2015. The ringing will coincide with the moment the historic meeting between Grant and Lee in the McLean House at Appomattox Court House ended. While Lee's surrender did not end the Civil War, the act is seen by most Americans as the symbolic end of four years of bloodshed.

After the ringing at Appomattox, bells will reverberate across the country. Churches, temples, schools, city halls, public buildings, historic sites, and others are invited to ring bells precisely at 3:15 pm for four minutes (each minute symbolic of a year of war).In Central New York,the Rome Historical Society, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Delta United Methodist, St. John The Baptist/Transfiguration Roman Catholic Parish, St. Mary's/ St. Peter's Roman Catholic Parish, St. John Lutheran Church, Zion Episcopal Church, Trinity United Church of Christ, Grace Baptist Church, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, Salvation Army, and the Bartlett Baptist Church, and St. Joseph Roman Catholic of Lee Center will be participating. Participants in nearby communities include: the Hecla Union Congregational &First Presbyterian Churches of the City of Oneida, Mount Olivet Baptist Church of Rochester, and various churches in Ithaca.

The end of the Civil War has different meanings to different people. Participants will ring bells across the nation as a gesture to mark the end of the bloody conflict in which more than 750,000 Americans perished. Some communities may ring their bells in celebration of freedom or a restored Union, others as an expression of mourning and a moment of silence for the fallen. Sites may ring bells to markthe beginning of reconciliation and reconstruction, or as the next step in the continuing struggle for civil rights.Curriculum materials are available for schools interested in participating.

Schools, parks, and communities from all over the country will be participating in this event. Share how you observed it with #BellsAcrosstheLand2015.Stories will be compiled in one place to see how each one helps build our national story. 
Share your story and help us write history!

Please join us in the historic commemoration. Let bells ring across the land!


Fort Stanwix National Monument is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission to the park is free. For more information about upcoming events please call the park at (315) 338-7730. Please visit the park's web page at, or follow us on Facebook, for additional information about the park and up-to-date news about park events. Fort Stanwix is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks, visit

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Last updated: October 30, 2017

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112 East Park St.
Rome, NY 13440



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