The treaty that ended the War of 1812 and established a lasting peace between the U.S., Canada and the U.K. is once again being celebrated at Peace Arch Park.
Diplomats from four countries will be present at a ceremony to commemorate the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent. The treaty was signed in Belgium on Christmas Eve, 1814, officially ending the War of 1812. The treaty was ratified on February 16, 1815, and signed by President James Madison on February 17.
The Peace Arch monument in Blaine was originally designed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the treaty, but its construction was pushed back to 1921 as the onset of World War I diverted national funds to the war effort.
Christina Alexander of the U.S. Canada Peace Arch Anniversary Association (USCPAA) organized the event. This is the second event honoring the treaty in the last two months. On Christmas Eve, community members gathered at the Peace Arch to celebrate the anniversary of the treaty’s signing with historical reenactments, musical performances and a festive lighting of the Arch.
Consuls from four countries have agreed to attend the February 13 event: James Hill of Canada, Lynne Platt of the United States, Ronald Masnik of Belgium and Robin Twyman of the United Kingdom.
“This event is important, not just because we’re commemorating the end of a war, but we’re celebrating a lasting peace,” Twyman said. “It’s now 200 years later, and our countries enjoy a very special relationship. We share everything from commerce to culture. We’re celebrating the legacy of that peace and friendship.”
Representatives from the Washington Society of 1812 and the Washington Daughters of 1812, as well as the White Rock Scout Troop Color Guard, will join the consuls. Members of the Blaine High School choir will sing “Children of a Common Mother,” the official Peace Arch anthem.
The commemoration ceremony begins at noon on Friday, February 13. A Washington State Parks Discover Pass is required for parking at Peace Arch Park.