Bells Ring at Fort Street Mall to Commemorate 150th Anniversary of the end of U.S. Civil War

April 02, 2015

Justin Vance, Ed.D.
 Justin Vance, Ed.D.

HONOLULU — Hawai‘i Pacific University, Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, and the Hawaii Civil War Round Table will join a national ceremony on April 9, 2015 to mark 150th anniversary of the end of the U.S. Civil War.

The Fort Street Mall church will be a participating site in the National Park Service’s “Bells across the Land: A Nation Remembers Appomattox” to commemorate the anniversary of the meeting of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee that brought a formal end to the war.

Justin Vance, Ed.D., an associate professor of History at HPU and a key organizer of Hawai‘i’s participation in the ceremony, said, “I am very pleased to see the enthusiasm of people in Hawai‘i to recognize the 150th anniversary of the coming of peace after the most deadly war in this country’s history in this way.”

“This also takes place at a Civil War era building, a rarity in Hawaii,” he added. “The Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace was built in 1843 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.”

On Thursday, April 9, at 9:15 a.m., Our Lady of Peace will ring its bells for 4 minutes, along with thousands of others across the United States. Civil War re-enactors will be present starting at 8:45 a.m. Brother Joseph Dutton, hero of Kalaupapa and Civil War veteran will also be honored.

Although Hawaii was 6,000 miles away from Appomattox, Va., the effects of the war on Hawai‘i and its people were “many and long lasting due to its close economic and cultural ties to the young United States by 1860s,” Vance said.

Vance and other collaborators have documented Hawaiians’ significant participation in the Civil War. His most recent collaboration is as co-author of the “Pacific Islanders and the Civil War” section of the newly released book, Asians and Pacific Islanders and the Civil War. It includes the military service stories of many Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, a few of which were present at the surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, including Private J.R. Kealoha.

For more information on the ceremony, see www.nps.gov/civilwar/upload/BELLS-ACROSS-THE-LAND-FLYER.pdf