Tuesday, January 19, 2016
The International Peace Garden
by Gladys Chapman
from Esso's Happy Motoring Vol 14 No 3 1953
Put your finger on the exact centre of the map of North America. Then move it 30 miles north on Highway No. 10.
Here, astride the International Border between Dunseith, North Dakota, U.S.A. and Boissevain, Manitoba, Canada stands a cairn that commemorates not only a dream, but the friendship of two nations that have been at peace for over 135 years. It is a "token of mutual determination to co-operate in every way to the achievement of lasting world peace".
While the nations of Europe and Asia were working themselves into a fever that would end in a world-shacking war, a large crowd met one hot July day in 1952 for the dedication of a project that would open to the people of Canada and the United States the International Peace Garden.
The idea was born in the mind of an Ontario gardener. "Why not", he said one day while returning from a meeting of Canadian and American gardeners, "have a peace and friendship garden right on the border, so that people on both sides can enjoy it?"
After two years of searching for the right spot, and negotiations on both sides, something tangible materialized. The Government of North Dakota added 900 acres of gentle hills and fertile farmlands to the approximately 1,280 area of rolling wooded forest reserve of the lovely Turtle Mountain area given by the Government of Manitoba "for as long as the Peace Garden continued" the Peace Garden was started.
In the third year after the inception of the idea, nearly 50,000 people met to dedicate the cairn built of stones from both sides of the border and to repeat the vow imprinted thereon:
"TO GOD IN HIS GLORY"
WE TWO NATIONS DEDICATE THIS GARDEN AND PLEDGE OURSELVES THAT AS LONG AS MEN SHALL LIVE WE WILL NOT TAKE UP ARMS AGAINST ONE ANOTHER.
Visit the website at: http://www.peacegarden.com/