celebration to be held this Saturday
The annual Dedication Day celebration at the Peace Arch takes place this Saturday, September 11, from 1 to 4 p.m. in Peace Arch State Park. Sponsored by the local United States/Canada Peace An-niversary Association headed by Christina Alexander, this year’s observance happens to coincide with the third anniversary of the 911 attacks in New York.
Sam Hill built the Peace Arch as a way of commemorating the world’s longest undefended border, and dedicated it on September 6, 1921. Warren G. Harding was president, and the young Swiss physicist Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize in physics. The passage of the 19th amendment a year earlier gave women the vote, and the 1920’s had already begun to roar, as they say.
The park where Saturday’s reenactment will occur came years later, but for the afternoon it will fill with people, many of whom will look like some of those attending the original ceremony. Alexander, who has been invited to a conference in Korea and will miss the festivities, suggests long skirts and dresses for women, V-neck pullovers and argyle socks for men, hair ribbons for girls, knickers for boys and hats for everyone.
Various local folks will appear as Sam Hill, his blue-blooded European girlfriend and others. Antique cars and refreshments round out the event, but any toasting with real champagne will have to happen on the Canadian side if the day is to be true to history. In 1921 prohibition was already a year old.