The Vigil Sculpture
H Street Plaza
701 Peace Portal Dr.
Downtown Blaine, WA 98230
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The Vigil Sculpture:
A Symbol of Blaine's Maritime and Icelandic Heritage
Discover the cultural gem located in downtown Blaine!
For those looking to explore a little of the history in Blaine and uncover unique stories that are not widely known, downtown Blaine has a cultural gem tucked away right under its nose. Located on H Street Plaza in downtown Blaine, the Vigil sculpture stands tall and proud as a symbol of maritime history and Icelandic culture.
Blaine has a long history with Icelandic culture and heritage. Situated on the border of Canada and the United States, Blaine has been an important port city since the early 20th century when many ships operated out of the area to transport goods along the Pacific Northwest coast. As such, it has become host to many Icelandic immigrants who brought their unique culture, customs, and language to the region.
The most notable symbol of Icelandic heritage in Blaine is ‘The Vigil’ sculpture. The Vigil was designed by Bob McDermott and dedicated on October 14, 2006, and it stands atop H Street Plaza overlooking Blaine Harbor and Semiahmoo Bay. It depicts a grandmother, mother, and young boy looking out to sea – honoring those pioneer mothers, wives, and children who waited anxiously for husbands, fathers, and brothers to return from their journeys at sea. The Vigil casts a steady gaze to the West towards Georgia Strait, where much of the economic livelihood of this settlement was derived.
The Vigil is an iconic symbol for the city of Blaine. It serves as a reminder of its Icelandic and Maritime history while also representing the strength and resilience of its citizens. The Vigil has become a popular destination for locals and tourists who come to admire its beauty or participate in one of many events held at H Street Plaza throughout the year.
The Vigil is more than just a piece of art; it is an integral part of Blaine’s identity. It is a testament to the courage and determination of those who came before us while providing hope for future generations.