Following a long-time tradition that happens every three years, Boy Scouts of America held the 2014 Omaha Beach Camporee from 25 to 27 April on the shores of Normandy, at Vierville-sur-mer, France. Around 5,000 Scouts and Leaders from the United States and other European countries gathered to open the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and recognize the sacrifices of American and Allied soldiers, who fought and died fighting for freedom and peace in 1944.
The event started at the Bayeux Cathedral, where the Bell for Peace and Freedom was unveiled for the first time. A Scout from Germany, France, UK, and USA symbolically unveiled the bell, which was then rung nine times for the nine official sponsors (one from each country that fought in World War II in Western Europe).
This extraordinary initiative brought Scouts from nations that once battled against each other together in a spirit of peace and brotherhood, emphasizing the importance of a peaceful coexistence. During the event, the participants also had the opportunity to visit historical places and to make a commitment towards peace by serving their communities and help create a better world. By undertaking these good turns, all Scouts at the camporee were formally recognized as Messengers of Peace.
Embassy personnel and active duty service members along with their families from U.S. bases around Europe also joined this historical event and paid tribute to the many who fought for peace during World War II.
For more information about the Bell Ceremony, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkJrwaINlZ4