Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The G stands for Gamaliel

I stumbled upon this monument commemorating Warren G. Harding's 1923 visit to Canada while bicycling yesterday through Stanley Park near the Malkin Bowl. While I've been to Malkin Bowl for concerts on several occasions, I never noticed these statues before. The female figures represent The United States and Canada, their shields incorporating elements of their respective nation's flag. Canada's figure's shield shows not the modern red and white maple leaf (which wasn't introduced until December of 1964) but the British Red Ensign.

Carved into the granite on either side of the female figures are the following words:

"What an object lesson of peace is shown today by our two countries to all the world. No grim-faced fortifications mark our frontiers, no huge battleships patrol our dividing waters, no stealthy spies lurk in our tranquil border hamlets. Only a scrap of paper, recording hardly more than a simple understanding, safe-guards lives and properties on the Great Lakes, and only humble mile posts mark the inviolable boundary line for thousands of miles through farm and forest.

Our protection is in our fraternity, our armour is our faith, the tie that binds more firmly year by year is ever-increasing acquaintance and comradeship through interchange of citizens and the compact is not of perishable parchment but of fair and honorable dealing, which, God grant, shall continue for all time."

Erected by Kiwanis International in memory of a great occasion in the life of two sister nations. Here on July 26, 1923, Warren Gamaliel Harding, twenty-ninth President of the United States of America, and first President to visit Canada, Charter Member of the Kiwanis Club of Marion, Ohio, spoke words that are worthy of record in lasting granite dedicated September 16, 1925.

I'm really enjoying the way this project - posting a photo every day - has made me stop and look around the city I live in and really see things I've never paid much attention to!

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