OSCA to Join French Counterparts for Commemorative Bell Ringing

For the first time in 76 years, towns along the Normandy coast will not host public ceremonies to commemorate the 1944 D-Day landings, due to restrictions imposed by the global pandemic COVID-19. This year, a different kind of public ceremony will occur.  

The Omaha Sister Cities Association (OSCA) and its friendship city Isigny-Omaha Intercom—a region of 59 townships overlooking Omaha Beach—have agreed to honor the heroes who fell on the beaches of Normandy by jointly ringing bells at the same time. On Saturday, June 6, Bells Across Omaha will take place at 11:44 a.m. Central Daylight Time. That coincides with 6:44 p.m. Central European Summer Time, when “bells of liberty” will ring across the countryside of Normandy, France.  

Mayor Jean Stothert has encouraged Omaha institutions and religious groups to participate in this solemn observance. The carillon at the University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO) bell tower will sound across the expanse of the midtown campus; the Archdiocese of Omaha has asked its parishes to participate; and Countryside Community Church on the Tri-Faith Commons will ring its bells at 132nd and Pacific Streets.