A grand opening celebration was held on Saturday afternoon for the Dirk Willems Peace Garden located on the grounds of the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach.

A statue of an iconic moment in Mennonite history was unveiled in November 2018.

The Peace Garden surrounds the site with around 900 native plants.

The sculpture is of Dirk Willems, an Anabaptist martyr who was imprisoned for his beliefs in the 1500s.

A woman reads a memorial plaque at the Dirk Willems Peace Garden.

Willems managed to escape but as he was being chased over a river surrounding the prison, a jailer fell through the thin ice and started crying for help. Willems, instead of running, turned around to save his captor from drowning.

He was later executed for his faith on May 16, 1569, in Asperen, Netherlands.

The memorial site includes a beautiful pergola, benches, and plaques with information on an important piece of history.