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Reconciliation: The Peacekeeping Monument

Photo: D. Gordon E. Robertson

This special monument was erected on Confederation Boulevard in Ottawa and commemorates Canada's role in international peacekeeping and the soldiers, both living and dead, who have participated or are currently participating in peacekeeping operations. Since 1947, Canadian peacekeepers have served overseas in a variety of United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and other multinational task forces. Canada played a leading role in the peacekeeping movement from the outset. In fact, a Canadian, Lester B. Pearson, won the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering vision in helping establish a United Nations force during the Suez Crisis of the 1950s. Since then, Canada's commitment to international peace efforts and other overseas military actions has continued.

The monument depicts three peacekeepers — two men and a woman — standing on two sharp, knifelike edges of stone, cutting through the rubble and debris of war and converging at a high point, which symbolizes the resolution of conflict. The inscription on the monument is a quote from Lester B. Pearson: "We need action not only to end the fighting but to make the peace... My own government would be glad to recommend Canadian participation in such a United Nations force, a truly international peace and police force." (Lester B. Pearson, November 2, 1956)

Engraved text of quote from Lester B. Pearson dated November 2, 1956.  Photo:  Joshua Sherurcij

The members of the winning design team from British Columbia were Jack K. Harman, sculptor; Richard G. Henriquez, urban designer; and Cornelia H. Oberlander, landscape architect. The team also included Gabriel Design, lighting design, and J.L. Richards and Associates, engineering services, both of Ottawa.


Facing Parliament Hill, turn right on Wellington Street. Pass the Fairmont Château Laurier, turn left on Sussex Drive. The monument is to the left, at the intersection of Sussex Drive and St. Patrick Street.

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