Springfield Dominican Sisters honoring the end of the Civil War 150 years later

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Video: Springfield  Dominican Sisters honoring the end of the Civil War

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered, marking the end of the Civil War. Bells rang out to celebrate the end of the four year conflict.


150 years later ceremonies were held across the U. S. to ring bells at 2:15 p.m., the exact moment the Civil War ended.


Dominican Sisters of Springfield, IL sang God Bless America and ring the historical bell at Sacred Heart Convent.


With a sense of respect for those who have labored these many years to act on President Lincoln’s vision, and with a profound sense of hope for the future, we have met in this place to join others in a remembrance of the beginning of reconciliation 150 years ago, leading to the end of the four year Civil War and a beginning to the end of slavery in the United States. I invite all of us, at the ringing of the bells, to pause in silence for 4 minutes and say a prayer for our nation in the spirit of President Lincoln’s words.


“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan- to do all which may achieve and cherish, a just and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”


[Tower bells for 4 minutes]


On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered his sword and his Army of Northern Virginia to Gen Ulysses Grant, marking the end of the Civil War. Then Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, sign the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators. With Smith’s surrender, the last Confederate army ceased to exist, bringing a formal end to the bloodiest four years in U.S. History.


Compassionate God, walk with us on our journey of non-violence. We know that peace is not just the absence of war. It involves mutual respect and confidence between peoples and nations. Teach us to enter into relationship with each other, and work for constructive solutions benefiting all participants. Help us to develop policies of mutual respect, cooperation, and the readiness to enter into reconciliation.


[Historical bell ringing (4 people, 4 times each)]


On December 18, 1865, slavery ended in the United States. Secretary of State William Seward issued a statement verifying the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution making the end of slavery official eight months after the end of the Civil War. We often think of slavery as something from the past, but human trafficking still exists today throughout the United States and globally when traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control other people for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex or forcing them to provide labor services against their will.


God of all time and space, we pray for all those enslaved by the greed and cruelty of others; for all whose bodies and spirits are abused and broken; for all who long for freedom. Bless all those who work to end human trafficking, at local and international levels. Shine your bright light of justice and love on the darkest corners of our world and give us hope and courage to stand with you. We ask it in the name of Jesus, our brother.


[Historical bell ringing (4 people, 4 times each)]

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