Monumental or mundane?

Every place has a history. When people travel, they often make a point of visiting historic sites, getting to know the culture and the history of the place they are visiting.

For people born or living there however, many have never visited the tourist attractions, historic sites or memorials in their area. These places often do not register for them. Residents may walk by them everyday without knowing what they mean or what they stand for, or they have heard only one version of the historical event that’s being represented.

Memorial Park (on Memorial Boulevard) is a provincial park. The City of Winnipeg signed over the 4.5 acres of land back in 1961, combining it with land it already owned to create the park. When it was opened in 1962, it included the City Hydro Fountain and open park space. This park is often used for festivals and movies, as a transfer point for buses, and it is passed by on the way to and from both downtown and Osborne Village.

A little bit further west, Vimy Ridge Memorial Park is a hot spot for families. The park has three war-based monuments: The Vimy Ridge 44th Canadian Infantry Monument, one for the the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and one for the 12th Manitoba Dragoons. But the park is also known for its play structures, wading pool, spray pad, washrooms and picnic benches.

This photo essay takes a look at some pieces of history in Winnipeg that people may overlook in the bustle of daily life.

The Women Veterans of the Two World Wars statue in Memorial Park was commissioned by the Women's Tri-Service Association WWI & II Veterans of Winnipeg and unveiled on July 4, 1976.

This Airman Training Monument was added to the park in September 1984, and is dedicated to airmen and instructors from WWII.

This statue of Queen Victoria sits in front of the Manitoba Legislative Building  and was unveiled on Oct. 1, 1904, three years after the Queen's death.

This addition to Memorial Park was completed on Aug. 9, 2004 and is dedicated to the peacekeepers and the signing of the UN Charter on Oct. 24, 1945.

A monument in honour of the Manitoba Dragoons stands in Memorial Park. They are also remembered in Brugge, Belgium, with a pair of bison sculptures.

This monument memorializes members of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles who were killed while they were prisoners of war in June 1944. It was unveiled on June 6, 1992.

Published in Volume 72, Number 2 of The Uniter (September 14, 2017)

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