Thursday, May 29, 2014

U.N. International Peacekeepers Day

May 29th is the International Day Of United Nations Peacekeepers. I thought I would take today to show you another monument here in Ottawa. This one is dedicated to peacekeeping.

It's entitled Reconciliation.

UN and international missions- both current and past operations- that have involved Canadian soldiers as peacekeepers are inscribed on one of the walls. This inscription features UNDOF, the body of troops overseeing the border between Israel and Syria.

The monument is nestled across from the National Gallery (you can see the glass tower in the first shot) and Major's Hill Park. It also offers views of Parliament Hill; the Peace Tower can be seen from this angle.

Taken from the other side, one of the spires of Notre Dame rises up.

From this perspective, the American embassy is in the background. For another look at the embassy from here, check this post at Merry@Syracuse. Merry took a trip up here earlier in the month, and has several shots from Ottawa and Gatineau that can be found in the sidebar links.

Canadian forces have a long history with peacekeeping operations, though the current federal government seems to have a profound loathing for the concept in particular and diplomacy in general.


  1. We often forget how much we owe to the people.
    You know, here in Poland are the heroes of the soldiers, who were not allowed to put monuments, because they fought in the war with Germany, but also with the occupying Soviet Union.
    But the truth is strong. Power for many years did not allow for memorials, so now increasingly appear on the walls.

  2. If only all the world's leaders would make a commitment to peace, but I suppose that's an impossible wish.

  3. This is a marvelous Memorial William, wonderful photos!

  4. We need all the Peacekeepers we can get. As Elaine said "if only". Beautiful post and words. MB

  5. Thanks for bringing this day to my attention. I think Canadians still have a good reputation worldwide, despite the current government.

  6. That's an impressive monument. Although the Netherlands were and are part of peace keeping missions, I don't think we have such a monument specially for our UN troops.

  7. Mariusz: thanks for the link!

    Elaine: quite so.

    Denise: thank you.

    MB: these days it seems more pressing than ever.

    Halcyon: despite the flak the government of the time this monument was unveiled gets, they were mindful of the good use of diplomacy and the value of our reputation as an honest broker.

    Jan: one of our former prime ministers played a big role in the development of peacekeeping.

  8. Very cool. Usually our monuments tend to glorify war. It's nice to see one promoting peace. We have lots of war hawks here, too. Unfortunately, when the fighting starts they are nowhere to be seen.

  9. Love the angles you've chosen to show the peace memorial William, brilliant silhouettes against the skyline... I say we need more peace memorials.

  10. A monument to make us think. I like it.
    Jane x

  11. It is beautiful. I wish we had more monuments dedicated to this cause.

  12. Wonderful memorial. Great shots William.

  13. Quite realistic and perfectly located!

  14. @Lowell: that's almost to be expected of them.

    @Tanya: thank you.

    @Grace: we do!

    @Jane and Chris: thanks!

    @Lois: there ought to be.

    @Luis: thank you kindly!

    @Linda: I've always liked it.

    @VP: it has a wonderful location, all told.

  15. I think if it hadn't been for your post I might not have know about the significance of today. You've made a perfect post for it.

  16. wow. the statues standing guard really brings the point home.

  17. Great.

    And of course now I'm wondering about Mankind...

  18. Monuments are fine, but the truth remains that mankind continues to kill each other. Some claim it is for their God and others for humane reasons. It doesn't matter their philosophy, they all want to rule and that desire resides in everyone. There will never be the "peace" of non-killing on Earth.

  19. I guess if they didn't translate 'reconciliation', then some snob would complain about the missing accent mark. Lovely photos!!

  20. I don't think we have a monument for this....

    We should.

  21. @Sharon: it's a monument I'll have to photograph in other weather.

    @Tex: this is one of those cases where the design was just right

    @Ciel: we have reason to be cynical about humanity.

    @Mari: it might never come to pass.

    @Judy: I think it definitely is.

    @Eve: ah, the balance between English and French in this country is another story altogether!

    @Norma: even as peacekeepers, it's hazardous duty.

    @Stuart: I think so.

  22. That's a fabulous monument! Love it.

  23. I didn't know that. Thanks for posting, William.

  24. I agree with Lowell. Unfortunately, "peacekeeping" seems to have become an artifact. At one time more of our political leaders had served in the military and learned the hard way to value peace. Now I'm reminded of our former Vice President, Dick Cheney, who famously remarked he had "other priorities" when it came time to serve in Vietnam. How quickly he rattled sabers in Iraq. He and others have economic interests in waging wars.

  25. Peacekeepers are sometimes reviled and endangered, just like the participants in the war. We quickly forget how much we need them.

  26. @RedPat: so do I.

    @Marleen: you're welcome.

    @Kay: that's true.

    @Jackie: it is.

    @Cheryl: I agree.