Transcript of Reconciliation: The Peacekeeping Monument – Decoding ART - Heritage Monuments
[Canadian Heritage signature]
Narrator: "This capsule is presented by Canadian Heritage."
[Three peacekeepers—a woman and two men—standing on a wall]
Narrator: "Although the title of this work is Reconciliation, most people know it as the Peacekeeping Monument. It's dedicated to all Canadian peacekeepers—past and present.
"The concept of peacekeeping—using soldiers to prevent armed conflict—grew out of the United Nations, the international agency formed in the wake of World War II.
"Former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson promoted the idea of an international peacekeeping force under the direction of the United Nations — His diplomatic efforts later earned him a Nobel Peace Prize.
"As of today, more than 120,000 Canadian soldiers have served in peacekeeping operations around the world. This artwork is full of powerful symbolism. At the base of the monument are a series of broken walls—the debris of war. Two ridges rise above and converge at a high point, symbolizing the resolution that peacekeeping makes possible. Standing on the ridge are three peacekeepers—a woman and two men—who gaze toward a peaceful future, represented by a grove of oak trees.
"The number of trees—12—symbolizes the 10 provinces and two territories that comprised Canada when the monument was created in 1992.
"The placement of this monument— across from the National Gallery of Canada and along the ceremonial route known as Confederation Boulevard—emphasizes the importance of Canadian values of freedom, human rights and peace and of peacekeeping to Canadians."