Today The Honor Bell was cast in Ohio, and we were there! There were some truly powerful moments shared by everyone who attended, including the committal of 12 deceased Colorado and Wyoming veterans' military artifacts into the molten metal that has become The Honor Bell. This is the first step in creating a tradition that will honor all veterans who are interred at our national cemeteries—starting with Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, Colorado.
Verdin Bells and Clocks, our foundry in Cincinnati, welcomed us and other attendees with a walk-through of their foundry, lunch, and smiling faces throughout the factory. When it came time to begin the casting, the Bell Honor Guard presented the national, Ohio, POW/MIA, and Honor Bell colors, and opened the Bell's Artifact Case, which had safeguarded the military artifacts since their dedication in March. Director of Veteran Outreach Bob Dawes passed the artifacts one by one to Executive Director Lou Olivera. As Olivera placed each artifact into the forger's care, the name, rank, and artifact for each veteran was announced. Once the artifacts had been collected into the forger's ladle, they were placed into the molten bronze, where they became an immutable part of the matrix that would become The Honor Bell. A thousand pounds of metal was then poured into the bell mold, where it will cool for several days.
We are so grateful to the families who donated their loved ones' artifacts, to everyone who has supported the Bell's mission financially, and to those who have and continue to volunteer their time! Stay tuned for what's next as The Honor Bell is released from its mold, installed in its vehicle, and gets ready to head home to Colorado.