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Bellingham 'Arch of Healing' was covered — but not for the reason you might fear

RAM Construction installs memorial ahead of official Saturday ceremony

RAM Construction crews assemble the Arch of Healing and Reconciliation on Wednesday, April 18, at the corner of Lottie Street and North Commercial Street in Bellingham.
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RAM Construction crews assemble the Arch of Healing and Reconciliation on Wednesday, April 18, at the corner of Lottie Street and North Commercial Street in Bellingham.

Don't worry. The new Arch of Healing and Reconciliation hasn't been vandalized or otherwise damaged.

There's been some concern after people noticed that the granite monument in Bellingham was under a covering.

"It is all fine," said Satpal Sidhu, a Whatcom County Council member and chairman of the Arch Committee who had received a number of concerned calls.

"The black floor tiles did not get grouted before the ceremony," Sidhu added, saying that was done over the weekend. "It should be cured now and the cover will be removed."

The installation ceremony was April 21.

Rising 12 feet and weighing 10 tons, the arch acknowledges shameful anti-immigrant periods in Bellingham and Whatcom County history, when the Chinese were pushed out in 1885, a mob came for East Indian mill workers in 1907, and Japanese and Japanese-Americans were forced into internment camps in 1942.

It also honors those early pioneers from China, India and Japan — and all immigrants who have come to the Pacific Northwest since the 1800s to work and for a chance at new lives, community organizers behind the effort said.

Arch of Healing and Reconciliation.jpg
The Arch of Healing and Reconciliation was installed in April at Lottie and North Commercial streets, next to the lawn behind the Bellingham Public Library and across from City Hall. The granite monument honors the sacrifices and contributions of Whatcom County’s immigrants. Kie Relyea The Bellingham Herald

They described the arch as a bridge to the past, a marker of what Whatcom County stands for today and a monument of hope moving forward.

The monument is at Lottie and North Commercial streets, next to the lawn behind the Bellingham Public Library and across from City Hall.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea
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