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Billings club started national prayer during World War I

Posted at 9:00 PM, Nov 11, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:51:07-04

BILLINGS – The Western Heritage Center observed a moment of silence and listened to the bell and volleys from the Bells of Peace Ceremony several blocks away.

It was part of the center’s Armistice Day Centennial Commemoration.

Inside, there were presentations about World War I and what American civilians did during the war effort.

In 1918, the Billings Rotary Club started War Angelus, which went all across the country.

War Angelus involved citizens praying for the allied troops at 11 a.m. each day.

“Armistice Day, the end of the war, ends at 11 a.m., the same moment that everybody was praying,” said Kevin Kooistra, Western Heritage Center executive director. “And of course, the Billings Rotary Club recognized the coincidence that the war ended at 11 a.m. and they thought, ‘Well maybe we had some higher influence.’ I think that was really cool, actually.”

The Western Heritage Center exhibit called “The War at Home: World War I and Yellowstone County” runs through December 29.