VeteranS Outreach Program
The Honor Bell doesn’t just serve as a meaningful symbol of respect for our nation’s fallen service members. It also brings veterans from all eras of service and all walks of life together in common purpose. As our founding member, Louis Olivera said:
“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.”
The Bell Guard gives vets an opportunity to come together and serve both their fellow service members and their community.
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 open to all veterans and active-duty service members — including members of other Veterans Service Organizations. The Guard escorts 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 Bell Guard also participates at education events and public events featuring the Bell. During funeral and memorial services, the Guard will wear foundation-provided uniforms to ensure the dignity and respect of the ceremony. Dignity, Honor and Respect are the three tenets of the Bell Guard. The Guard carries itself with quiet professionalism at all times.
There is no mandatory time commitment to become a Bell Guard; there are opportunities for those who can only volunteer on evenings or weekends as well.
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.
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 with the Bell Guard.
Honor Bell Foundation welcomes non-veteran volunteers as well. These individuals can assist with administrative tasks and public events. if you would like to participate, please get in touch.