On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, bells will ring out across Charleston as symbols of a peace declared 100 years ago.
The end of the First World War in 1918 was a cause for celebration across South Carolina, a state that sent an estimated 53,000 men and women to serve in the war.
By the time it ended, more than 1,900 South Carolinians had died, including 88 from Charleston. They served in the 30th infantry division, the 81st division and the 93rd division, which included African-American troops serving under French command.
"At daybreak this morning the cloud of war lifted from Europe and the agony of more than four years which Germany brought upon the world ended," the Charleston Evening Post declared in an editorial on Nov. 11, 1918.
The city's fire bells pealed 24 times, every band available marched in the streets, and a crowd of 5,000 people blew whistles, fired pistols in the air and beat drums in Marion Square.
The war left a mark on Charleston, both in its death toll and in the reinvention it brought to the historic port city. The Navy expanded its presence at the Naval Base in present-day North Charleston, tripling pre-war employment numbers to 5,600 and stationing 93 officers at headquarters there, according to a recent proclamation by Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg.
The Navy presence and shipbuilding efforts would expand again in the build-up to World War II, making the Navy one of the largest employers in the area until the base's closure in 1996.
Across the state, training camps set up for the war effort became more permanent installations. Camp Jackson near Columbia became Fort Jackson, while Camp Moore in Lexington County became the Pine Ridge National Guard Armory.
World War I also accelerated a century-spanning movement known as the Great Migration, during which black Southerners sought better opportunities in the wartime industries of Northern states.
As the years passed and World War I veterans carried their memories to their graves, some Charlestonians worried that the sacrifices and toil of the Great War would be forgotten. The Armistice Day federal holiday was officially renamed Veterans Day in 1954, drawing consternation from some South Carolinians who still remembered the burden of the war and the feeling of relief when it came to an end.
In a letter published by The News and Courier in 1971, a Mrs. S.P. Eaddy of Johnsonville recalled waiting anxiously as a 9-year-old in 1918 for rural mail carriers to bring newspapers with updates about the war.
"An old lady who lived on my grandfather's place had a son, and my grandparents had a son. These two sons were due to go to war in the next call for boys," Eaddy wrote. "My grandmother and the old lady would get together each day, crying and praying for the war to cease so their sons wouldn't have to go."
The scale of Armistice Day commemorations waned as the years passed. On Armistice Day in 1974, District Commander John Wertz lamented to the newspaper that the American Legion had to cancel its planned parade in Charleston because no military bands were available.
This year, Wando High School U.S. history teacher Daniel Gidick also worried that the centennial would pass by unremarked.
"It somewhat parallels a lot of memory in the U.S. about the First World War," Gidlick said. "Certainly it’s overshadowed in the collective American memory by the Second World War."
With help from the World War I Centennial Commission, he successfully lobbied Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg to issue a proclamation asking churches to ring their bells on Nov. 11.
The town of Sullivan's Island will also host its own events Sunday. Re-enactors dressed as “doughboys” will visit Fort Moultrie at 9 a.m., and a memorial ceremony will begin at 10:45 a.m. in a park across the street from Stella Maris Catholic Church.
Independent of Gidick's efforts, local author and retired tour guide Danny Crooks has also taken an interest in preserving World War I history.
Three years ago, after discovering that a monument to Charleston's fallen soldiers from the war was stashed away on a city storage lot, he sought to have it moved back to its original home near the Ashley River Bridge.
He hit a snag, though: The memorial was incomplete. It omitted the names of all of the black soldiers who died in the war, as well as some of the white soldiers.
After some sparring with the Washington Light Infantry and a careful reading of the state's Heritage Act, which requires an act of the legislature to modify or move war monuments, he dropped his mission to correct the monument.
Today, the monument remains hidden away in a lot behind a chain link fence.
Instead, Crooks started writing a book.
"I just think that those men need to be remembered for their sacrifices," he said.