“Since leaving the Army 25 years ago, I realize I feel best when I'm interacting with fellow veterans. That camaraderie is felt again when I work as a team to honor those that served as I did.” –Lou Olivera
VeteranS Outreach Program
The Bell Guard: Stewards of Respect
In the spirit of cooperation towards a common goal, an elite corps of volunteers known as the Bell Guard is now open to all veteran volunteers and members of Veterans Service Organizations. They escort The Honor Bell to and from interment services. The Bell is tolled seven times in final honor and tribute, known as "Rendering Bell Honors." The Guard also participates at education venues and other activities featuring the Bell. During funeral services, the Guard will wear foundation-provided uniforms to ensure the dignity and respect of the ceremony.
The Guard is composed of Tolling Parties, each with three members:
The Belladier is the one who tolls the bell. He or she is responsible for rendering Bell Honors and seeing that it is completed with dignity, honor and respect.
In order to protect and preserve the sacrosanct purpose for which The Honor Bell was enshrined, the Bell Sentinel will stand at the ready to insure that the Bell is not touched by un-gloved hands and it is not rung or tolled except to render Bell Honors and then only by the Belladier.
The Bell Major is extremely important for successfully rendering Bell Honors. From the beginning to the completion of the tolling ceremony he or she is the eyes and ears of the Belladier. He or she works closely with Military Honor Details, Funeral Directors and the next of kin.
Three words, "dignity, honor and respect" are the cornerstones of the Bell Guard. Guard members will be asked to take a solemn oath. This oath states that as long as they are members of the Guard they will render Bell Honors with the understanding that they have been given the opportunity to provide sincere gratitude to the deceased for offering and placing their life on the line for the United States of America and our freedom. The Bell Guard will carry themselves in "Quiet Professionalism."
If you would like to be a part of this special team, please get in touch by filling out this short form. We would be honored to have you serve as one of the very first members of the Bell Guard.