The COVID-19 pandemic brought about restrictions to enforce social distancing, but here’s proof that love conquers all and knows no borders. The closing of the U.S. — Canada border prevented many couples or parents and children from being together. All nonessential travel was forbidden since mid-March. The Canadian government recently loosened the ban on border crossings to allow immediate family members separated to reunite. While families welcomed this, unmarried couples could still not be together.
However, love knows no borders, and one couple started meeting along a road in British Columbia that separates the countries. Although they were several feet apart, one on each side of a ditch, it was better than having no contact. More and more couples started meeting over the ditch, with border patrol guards eavesdropping and the noises of passing traffic.
Peace Arch Park proves love knows no borders
The weather became warmer, and shutdowns lifted, leading to the reopening of the 42-acre Peace Arch Park. At long last, couples could meet and actually hug each other again. The park’s northern part belongs to British Columbia Provincial Parks, and Washington State Parks owns the southern half. Although surveillance by border agents on both sides ensures no illegal exits, visitors can roam freely. The park’s website says the space is “devoted to peace and serenity.”
Although the park was dubbed “Passion park,” not only lovers made the most of the opportunity. A 34-year-old only child makes the 2-hour trip from Renton, Wash. to meet her parents. They live only 10 minutes from the Canadian side of the border. Old friends meet to catch up, and grandparents see their newborn grandchildren for the first time in Peace Arch Park.
Wedding bells show that love conquers all
The couple who first started meeting across the ditch was ecstatic to hug each other when the park reopened. That was enough to make them take the leap and made their relationship official. On June 6, after a five-year relationship, they got married in the park in the presence of friends.
Before the park reopened, another couple got married across the ditch. The bride’s parents were standing on the American side after making a 7-hour trip from Portland, Ore. One day after the first couple tied the knot in the park, another couple followed suit. The pandemic forced them to cancel their original wedding plans.
There is also the girlfriend of a Canadian man who flew to Seattle from Indiana. She drove to Peace Arch Park to spend a few hours with her boyfriend.
Bureaucracy won in the end
Sadly, the B.C. government decided to close the park temporarily. This, despite an inscription on a stone at the Peach Arch Monument that reads, “May these gates never be closed.” Officials say the significant increase in visitors to the park creates concern for traffic and safety of neighboring communities. As sad as this closure is, it may take a while, but love knows no borders, and it will once again conquer all.