IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

The Peace Arch

Am I the last person in the world to learn about this? This is very cool. As the Wikipedia (OK, OK I like Wikipedia for quick reference…who doesn’t?) article explains:

“The Peace Arch is a monument situated on the Canada – United States border between the communities of Blaine, Washington and Surrey, British Columbia. The Peace Arch, which stands 20.5 meters (67.2 ft) tall, was built by Sam Hill and dedicated in September of 1921, and commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. The monument is built on the exact United States – Canada boundary, between Interstate 5 and Highway 99, in the grass median between the northbound and southbound lanes. The Peace Arch has the flags of the U.S. and Canada mounted on its crown, and two inscriptions on both sides of its frieze. The inscription on the U.S. side of the Peace Arch reads “Children of a common mother”, and the words on the Canadian side read “Brethren dwelling together in unity”. Within the arch, each side has an iron gate hinged on either side of the border with an inscription above reading “May these gates never be closed”. Peace Arch Park consists of Peace Arch Provincial Park on the Canadian side and Peace Arch State Park on the American side of the border. Within the park is a major border crossing which has never closed, symbolising a long history of peace between the two nations.”

On the site of the “United States Canada Peace Anniversary Association” you can find a very interesting and detailed history of the Arch, which includes a video with some very interesting footage about the Arch and related events.

Finally, here is a nice photo of the arch.

I know we tend to take the U.S.-Canada border–the longest unfortified border in the world–for granted (though maybe less so in these days of the War on Terror). Still, I think this arch symbolizes the fact that borders don’t have to be such terrible barriers, if the will to open them (both physically and psychologically) exists. I think it would be great if more initiatives of this kind were undertaken across nation-state borders. Maybe there are some already. Do you know of any?


October 9, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. […] more peace monuments A few posts ago, I mentioned the peace arch. Today, I found a very interesting site which featured 12 “peace monuments”, including […]

    Pingback by Some more peace monuments « IG’s Peace Blog | October 19, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] could find.  There is a bit of history that explains the name.  Some time ago, I wrote about the Peace Arch: ” The Peace Arch, which stands 20.5 meters (67.2 ft) tall, was built by Sam Hill and […]

    Pingback by Even on the links! « IG’s Peace Blog | July 16, 2009 | Reply

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