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The Canadian War Memorial

Part 3: Public interaction

The inscription on the compass rose states: In two world wars / one million Canadians / came to Britain / and joined the fight for freedom / From danger shared, our friendship prospers. These words are written side by side in Canada's two official languages of French and English. The compass rose not only frames the inscription, but links to the work by a square of ornamental tiling, creating an area for visitors to circulate. The pyramid form is divided into two parts with a passageway between to encourage people to walk in close proximity to the work. From this perspective the monument takes the form of an arrow pointing from Halifax to London, reflecting how Halifax was the port of embarkation for the soldiers and defence material during the two world wars.The Canadian materials used for the work; principally granite and bronze, followed the same route from Halifax to London.

Granche anticipated the public's appropriation of the monument: children can often be seen sliding on the sloping sculptural mass, and it also serves as a fountain: a fine layer of water trickles over the two surfaces of the pyramidal body, reflecting the environment of vegetation, clouds and people.

Translation from French by Janet Logan

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