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Peace Monuments Dedicated in 1940-1944
(World War II = 1939-1945)

Right click image to enlarge.


About 1940 - Peace, Indiana World War Memorial, Indianapolis, Indiana (USA). One of six alegorical figures. The other figures are Courage, Memory, Victory, Liberty & Patriotism. Construction of the immense 210-foot tall memorial was undertaken by the State of Indiana in 1921 as an inducement to persuade the American Legion to move its headquarters from New York City to Indianapolis.

May 1940 - "The Wedding of the Waters," Aloe Plaza, St. Louis, Missouri (USA). Symbolizes the Missouri & Mississippi Rivers merging just North of St. Louis. Unveiled to a crowd of about 3000 people, the fountain caused a local uproar because of its playful, irreverent, naked & nearly cartoonish figures, and because Swedish sculptor Carl Milles [1875-1955] had conceived the group as a wedding party with undeniable sexual overtones. The city insisted that the name be changed to "The Meeting of the Waters."
June 1940 - Peace Monument, Founex (Switzerland). "Les anciens combattants suisses de la Grande Guerre se félicitent d'être encore en paix en Juin 1940."

June 17, 1940 - Peace Carillon, Belle Isle Park, Detroit River, Detroit, Michigan (USA). 85-foot tower designed by Clarence Day. Inscribed: "Dedicated to the glory of God and in the hope of everlasting peace betweeen the peoples of the Dominion of Canada and of the Vnited States of America. Monvment Bvilders of America -AD 1940." Funds raised by journalist Nancy Brown who wrote a column for the Detroit News called "Experience" from 1919 to 1942. The 49-bell carillon was restored & computer automated in 2005. 1 of 40 monuments in "Peace Symbols" by Zonia Baber (1948), pp. 58-59. Entry #498 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

1940 - "The Return," Musée René Magritte, Hotel Altenloh, Place Royale, Brussels (Belgium). By Belgian surrealist René Magritte [1898-1967].

1940 - Peace Tower, Heiwadai Koen / Park, 6146 Koshigasako, Shimokitakatamachi, Miyazaki-shi, Miyazaki, Kyushu Island (Japan). 37-meter tower erected to promote "the unification of the eight corners of the world under one roof" (hakko ichiu) & celebrate 2,600th anniversary of the mythological foundation of Japan. "Purportedly contains artifacts that once belonged to the first emperor. Pedestal made with stones donated by Japanese expatriates from all over the world. Copper door created with coins donated by Japanese children. It may seem ironic that a peace tower was erected at a time when Japan was busy colonizing much of Asia; [but] the intention was to show that the world could live peaceably, albeit with Japan as leader. Figures on the tower depict the guardians of fishery, agriculture, self-defense, and commerce." Ten Yen note shows Imperial crisantemum (no longer used after WW-II).

1940 - International Peace Gardens, Jordan Park, Salt Lake City, Utah (USA). 24 gardens covering 8.25 acres. Initiated by Mrs. O. A. Wiesley of the SLC Council of Women. Developed by local ethnic & national groups 1948-1989. Includes Little Mermaid from Copenhagen, the Matterhorn, Olmec Head from Mexico, "Peace on Earth" statue (qv), Japanese Garden & 84 peace poles from the 2002 Winter Olympics (qv). Left image shows Japanese garden added in 1950. Entry #996 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

September 2, 1940 - Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), North Carolina & Tennssee (USA). 814 sq miles (2,108 sq kilometers) divided almost equally between the two states. Only US national park created entirely from privately owned land. Dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Never called a "peace park" but meets all of the criteria of a "transfrontier conservtion area" (TFCA) as defined by the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) or of a "transboundary protected area" (TBPA) as defined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

1940 - "Cross of Nails," Coventry Cathedral, Coventry (England). "Shortly after the destruction [on 14 November 1940], the cathedral stonemason, Jock Forbes, noticed that two of the charred medieval roof timbers had fallen in the shape of a cross. He set them up in the ruins where they were later placed on an altar of rubble with the moving words ‘Father Forgive’ inscribed on the Sanctuary wall. Another cross was fashioned from three medieval nails by local priest, the Revd Arthur Wales. The Cross of Nails has become the symbol of Coventry’s ministry of reconciliation." /// Right image is "an abstract interpretation of the Charred Cross in the old cathedral ruins." /// "In post conflict Europe of the 1950's & 1960's, the presentation of a Cross of Nails to churches in Kiel, Dresden, Berlin & other cities destroyed by Allied bombing, symbolized peace & the growing trust & partnership that developed." See Nikolaikirche (Hamburg), Chapel of Reconciliation (Berlin Wall Memorial, Berlin), Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Berlin), Friedenszeichen / Coventry Peace Monument (Lindau), and elsewhere.


June 21, 1941 - Monument à la Paix, Marseilles (France). Antoine Sartorio Louis Botinelly & Élie-Jean Vézien sculpteurs. "Aux victimes de l'attentat du 9 octobre 1934 à Marseille qui coûte la vie au ministre des Affaires étrangères Louis Barthou (1862-1934) et au roi Alexandre 1er de Yougoslavie (1888-1934)."

1941 - Maxo Vanka Murals, St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church, Millvale, Pennsylvania (USA). Near Pittsburgh. By Croatian-American artist Maksimilijan (Maxo) Vanka [1889-1963]. "More unusual for a church are the political & antiwar aspects of the murals that echo the crucifixion -- widows mourn over a soldier in a coffin containing a bleeding corpse, and crosses cover the hillside behind them. Another wall depicts corrupt justice: a figure in a gas mask holds scales on which the gold outweighs bread. Clearly World War I had a big effect on Maxo."

August 1941 - Rotary Peace Memorial, Mount Evans, Colorado (USA). Sundial on summit of Mount Evans 14,264 feet (4,350 meters) above sea level. Can be reached by the highest paved road in North America. Marks convention in Denver attended only by Rotarians from USA, Canada, Mexico & Cuba (due to the difficulty of international travel durng WW-II).

September 16, 1941 - Statue of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Hemisfair Park, San Antonio, Texas (USA). "A Fraternal Gift of Manuel Avila Camacho." Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla [1753-1811] was a Mexican priest & a leader of the Mexican War of Independence. 1 of 40 monuments in "Peace Symbols" by Zonia Baber (1948), pp. 84-85.

September 27, 1941 - Kiwanis Marker, on Rainbow Bridge over Niagara River Gorge between Ontario (Canada) & New York (USA). Bridge opened November 1, 1941. Image is from City of Niagara Falls Museums, Niagara Falls, Ontario. Caption: "A view showing dignitaries on the bridge beside a plaque [on an easel]: The unfortified boundary line between the Dominion of Canada and the United States of America should quicken the rememberance of the more than a century of friendship between these countries. A lesson of peace to all people, etc. (unable to read last two lines). Rainbow bridge under construction, Sept. 27, 1941." /// NB: Canadian Ryan Janek Wolowski walked this bridge, videoed every step, and photographed the 1977 Gyro International plaque [qv], but made no menton of a Kiwanis plaque.

November 11, 1941 - International Peace Monument (Bench), Belle Isle Park, Detroit River, Detroit, Michigan (USA). Carved on the back of the bench are an eagle with 13 stars for the USA & a crown & lion for Canada. Inscribed "With this everlasting witness we keep peace with our neighbors as they have kept peace with us throvghovt the years." 1 of 40 monuments in "Peace Symbols" by Zonia Baber (1948), pp. 78-79. Entry #494 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).


1942 - "An Incident in Contemporary American Life," Main Interior Building, Washington, DC (USA). Said to be the first civil rights monument. /// "In 1940, "before World War II, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes [1874-1952] commissioned Mitchell Jamieson [1915-1976] to paint a mural for the new Interior [Department] Building depicting the Marian Anderson [1897-1993] concert on the National Mall [on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939]... Ickes & First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt had organized this concert after Anderson was denied [by the DAR] singing at Constitution Hall due to the color of her skin. In the mural, Jamieson concentrates on the [biracial] crowd, even giving us portraits of individuals that we would be standing next to, straining to hear the concert which inaugurated the use of the Lincoln Memorial as a sight for civil rights protests." /// "Ickes was a strong supporter of both civil rights & civil liberties. He had been the president of the Chicago National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He encouraged private contractors working for the Public Works Administration (PWA) to hire both skilled & unskilled blacks... In 1933, Ickes ended segregation in the cafeteria & rest rooms of his department, including the national parks around the country. In a news conference on the eve of Thanksgiving 1938, Ickes proposed offering Alaska as a 'haven for Jewish refugees from Germany and other areas in Europe where the Jews are subjected to oppressive restrictions.' The proposal was designed to bypass normal immigration quotas, because Alaska was not [yet] a state... [In 1939, Ickes] supported African American contralto Marian Anderson when the Daughters of the American Revolution [DAR] prohibited her from performing in DAR Constitution Hall. Ickes was the organizer & master of ceremonies at Anderson's subsequent concert at the Lincoln Memorial... In 1945, As an official delegate to the founding United Nations conference in San Francisco, Ickes advocated for stronger language promoting self-rule & eventual independence for the world's colonies."

September 21, 1942 - Rush-Bagot Agreement Marker, 301 Water Street, Port Stanley, Elgin County, Ontario (Canada). At bridge over Kettle Creek. /// Lower left image from Elgin County Archives with this caption: "Rush-Bagot Treaty Cairn, Invererie Heights Park [aka Fraser Heights]. Cairn presented at the Cleveland Convention of Kiwanis International by the Georgia District in June 1942, for erection at Invererie Heights Park, Port Stanley, to commemorate the signing of the Rush-Bagot Treaty in 1817." /// Lower right image from IUPUI archives with this caption: "Rush-Bagot Agreement Marker, 1942. A marker celebrating 125 years of peace between the United States and Canada since the signing of the Rush-Bagot Agreement in 1817...dedicated on September 21, 1942." /// Other info courtesy of John Button (immediate past president of Kiwanis International), Morpeth, Ontario. Dr. & Mrs. Button made the upper image on 27May2016. /// N.B.: This is the ONLY Kiwanis peace marker made of stone. It was carved during WW-II when bronze was scarce. Role of the Georgia District is unknown. Perhaps the stone was quarried in Georgia, driven to Cleveland by Georgia Kiwanians, presented at the annual convention & then shipped across Lake Erie to Port Stanley. /// FYI, Port Stanley is a small town (population 2,500) with no Kiwanis club. Once known as the "Coney Island of the Great Lakes," it is on the north shore of Lake Erie & not exactly on the US/Canadian border, as are other Kiwanis peace markers. A train ferry (aka car ferry) operated between Cleveland & Port Stanley until some time after WW-II. Shipping the stone between the two places where navies fought in 1813 would symbolize the demilitarization of the Great Lakes as established in 1817 by the Rush-Bagot Treaty.

June 2010 - Lions Club Friendship Arch, Glover Park, Port Stanley, Ontario (Canada). Between Bridge Street & Lake Erie. "Marks the 50th anniversary of the Lions Club of Port Stanley." There are similar Lions Club Friendship Arches in other locations. /// According to Andrew Hibbert (editor/publisher of The Lake Erie Beacon), the municipality of Port Stanley is planning to move the Kiwanis marker to this lakeside location.


1943 - Four Freedoms Memorial, Madison, Florida (USA). "Commissioned by President Roosevelt following his articulation of the 'Four Freedoms' in his 1941 State of the Union Address. This was yet before the participation of the US in World War II. Roosevelt felt that, through the medium of the arts, a far greater number of people could be inspired to appreciate the concept of the Four Freedoms. Created by sculptor Walter Russell later that year, and was dedicated in 1943 before a crowd of 60,000 people at Madison Square Garden in New York City to Colin P. Kelly, one of the first recognized American heroes of World War II. On June 14, 1944, the monument was re-dedicated in Kelly's hometown of Madison, Florida, with a speech by Governor Spessard Holland." /// "A striking sculpture of four angels, their wings unfurled in the wind. Dedicated to Colin P. Kelly, a B-17 pilot whose plane was shot down just days after Pearl Harbor. " /// Click here for other Four Freedoms monuments.

1943 - Monument of States, 300 East Monument Avenue, Kississimi, Florida (USA). "Begun in 1942 after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the Monument of States was the vision of Dr. Charles Bressler-Pettis, a local tourism booster, who wanted a physical symbol of American unity in the dark days of early World War II. He wrote letters to every governor and to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to send him local rocks. (No clue where the President got his rock.) The donations arrived in a variety of formats -- blocks of native granite, chunks of quartz, small boulders, fossils, hunks of old buildings. One contributor even sent a human skull. By 1943 the Doctor had a complete set [of rocks] from the then-lower-48 [states], and had them mortared into a 50-foot-tall pseudo-pyramid of garishly-colored concrete slabs that weighed 30 tons. Each slab had a rock embedded in it, and was inscribed with the donor's name and location: 'Idaho, Chase A. Clark Gov. 1941-42,' 'Lottie Lawler,' 'Wisconsin Dairy Land,' 'Harvard Medical School.'"


1944 - Lidice Memorial, Phillips, Wisconsin (USA). "A tribute to the village of Lidice (Czechoslovakia). In 1942, the village was destroyed & nearly all of its citizens were killed by the Ordnungspolizei of Nazi Germany in response to Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich [1904-1942]. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006."

1944 - "The New Democracy," Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City (Mexico). "Depicts a woman who is trying to shatter the bonds of oppression and exploitation. She carries a torch of freedom to symbolize the new order. David Alfaro Siqueiros [1896-1974] includes strong visions of the future, similar to Diego Rivera [1886-1957]. Classical influence is shown in his approach to idealize human body form. Sometimes he exaggerates with expressive emotion. With his death came an end to a great movement in modern art."

1944 - Pax in Lucem / Peace in the Light," Pabellón Martirené del Hospital de Saint Bois, Montevideo (Uruguay). One of the best known pictures [by] Joaquín Torres García [1874-1949], probably the most famous Uruguayan plastic artist..." The style, or more precisely, the school created by Garcia is the Universal Constructivism, based in many concepts, one of them being the dissociation between color & form, there is a message written in the lines & a second message written in the color. Accordingly, we can remove color from a Torres García painting & still have part of the message..." /// Burned in 1968. Réplica realizada por Museo Torres García.
1944 - El Pez / The Peace, Hall del Museo Torres García, Montevideo (Uruguay). By Joaquín Torres García [1874-1949]. Réplica de Horacio Torres.

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