Veterans Remembered; Bell Tolled for Peace

John SniffenLa Hacienda

Rhonda Avans practices ringing the La Hacienda bell for Veterans Day observance.

Photo caption: Army veteran and La Hacienda staffer Rhonda Avans practices ringing the bell last week for the Veterans Day observance held November 11.

Staff and patients paused Sunday morning, November 11, to observe the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and to thank military veterans for their service.

Gathered near the Bodega at the La Hacienda bell, they recognized veterans who were present and gave thanks for all who have served this country.

At 11 a.m.—the hour at which the armistice took effect in 1918—Referral Relations Coordinator Rhonda Avans rang the La Hacienda bell 21 times as part of the national Bells of Peace campaign, organized by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission.

Rhonda, who served in the Army during 1990s, is one of several veterans on our staff.

Remembering with Thanksgiving

Counselor Francisco Velasquez, who served in the Navy, spoke about the meaning of the event.

“At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the guns fell silent on the Western Front in Europe, ending four years of conflict,” he said. “Our nation has recalled that moment on this day through the decades.”

“We gather this day to remember with thanksgiving those who lived and died in the service our country; and to ask for God’s help and blessings that we may be worthy of their sacrifice each day of our lives.”

The ceremony concluded with Taps, the traditional bugle solo played at military funerals.

November 11 was known as Armistice Day in the United States until 1954 when Congress created the Veterans Day federal holiday in its place.

Claude D. Kirk, who started Hill Top Hotel at this location in 1947, was a World War I U.S. Navy veteran. The present-day dining rooms and counselor’s offices were a part of the hotel he owned and operated until 1954.