One hundred years ago, early in the morning of Nov. 11, 1918, word was received throughout Allegany and Cattaraugus counties that an armistice had been signed, ending World War I.
Area newspapers contained articles about celebrations, including spontaneous parades, the ringing of bells, speeches and other activities. The joyous din lasted late into the night.
“Let’s spread the word far and wide that bells be rung again on Nov. 11, 2018, at 11 a.m. local time throughout Allegany County to commemorate this historic event that took place 100 years ago,” says Ronald G. Taylor, president of the Allegany County Historical Society.
On the local level, he says, state Sen. Catharine M. Young commemorated Nov. 11, 2018, with a proclamation from the Senate in Albany.
On the national level, the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission has organized a World War I remembrance, Bells of Peace. The commission asks that bells be rung at 11 a.m. Sunday local time throughout the country. For more information, the commission website is www.worldwar1centennial.org.
In Olean, the large bell at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels will be rung at 11 a.m. Sunday to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the war, just like it rang in 1918.
MEANWHILE, also in Allegany County, the newly constructed Scio Veterans Memorial at Fairlawn Cemetery will be dedicated at 11 a.m. Monday, when Veterans Day will be observed as the national holiday.
Ron Washburn, the cemetery sexton, has envisioned and championed the building of the Scio Veterans Memorial Project. He approached the Scio Lions Club this past winter and presented his concept and asked for the club's support. The club has given financial support and has been organizing, fundraising, promoting and assisting Ron and the Fairlawn Cemetery Board in making the project a reality.
The black granite monument has been placed and new flags will be erected for each of the military services during the ceremony on Monday.
Additional contributions from the community are being raised on a GoFundMe page, under Scio Veterans Memorial. Contributions may also be sent in care of Donna Dean, 5848 Comfort Hollow Road, Scio, N.Y., 14880.