SPECIAL: Two Monuments You Probably Never Heard Of

What is an American?
The Preambles to the Constitutions of the States
Judeo - Christian Heritage
SPECIAL: Two Monuments You Probably Never Heard Of
Other Sources
The Manhattan Declaration
Links and Suggestions
World Clock

The National Monument to the Forefathers
The Teardrop Memorial

The National Monument to the Forefathers
dedicated on August 1, 1889, honors their ideals as later generally embraced by the United States, is thought to be the world's largest solid granite monument and is the third-tallest statue in the United States.

National Monument to the Forefathers

A granite monument standing 81 feet tall honors the first English settlers to land in Plymouth, Mass. The National Monument to the Forefathers stands in a state park on Allerton Street. The monument, the largest solid-granite monument in the United States, was dedicated in 1889 (30 years after its cornerstone was laid). A dedication on the monument’s northeast face reads, “National Monument to the Forefathers. Erected by a grateful people in remembrance of their labors, sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civil and religious liberty.”

The monument features several allegorical figures depicting virtues the Pilgrims, known in Plymouth as the Forefathers, brought with them when they arrived in Massachusetts in 1620. The largest figure, Faith, is 36 feet tall and weighs 180 tons by itself. Faith, holding a Bible, stands atop a granite column facing toward Plymouth Harbor and England. (The osprey nest on Faith’s head is not part of the original design.)

The eight-sided column features four buttresses with seated 15-foot-tall allegorical figures. Moving counterclockwise from the monument’s front, the north face features a representation of Morality, a woman holding a tablet bearing the beginning of the Ten Commandments, “I am the Lord thy God.” Niches in the base of Morality’s throne honor prophecy and evangelism.

The west face depicts Law, a man holding a book. Law is flanked by smaller figures depicting justice and mercy. Education graces the south face with a woman pointing to a book in her lap. Representations of wisdom and youth flank Education’s throne.

The east face features a representation of Liberty, a seated warrior with a sword in his right arm and a broken chain in his left. He is flanked by depictions of peace and tyranny, symbolizing the defeat of tyranny and the resulting peace.

Along with the allegorical figures, the monument’s buttresses also feature bas-relief sculptures depicting scenes such as the Pilgrims departing England and landing on the shores of Plymouth and interacting with Native Americans. The side of the monument’s face also bears panels listing the names of the Pilgrim settlers, and a quote from William Bradford, a governor of the colony. The monument was designed primarily by Boston sculptor Hammatt Billings whose original design called for it to be nearly twice as high at 150 feet (just under the Statue of Liberty’s height, including the pedestal, of 151 feet).

The monument’s height was reduced when funding became short during the Civil War. The monument was commissioned by the Pilgrim Society, which maintained the monument and the small park surrounding it until the site was deeded to the commonwealth in 2001.

Abraham Lincoln and the Plymouth Forefathers Monument (PDF, 5 pp.)



To the Struggle Against World Terrorism
A History:

The artist, Zurab Tsereteli, was in his home in Moscow on the morning of September 11 th. The television was on as he was getting ready for work and Zurab, like the rest of the world, was glued to coverage of the attacks on the Twin Towers. He watched the towers collapse on TV and was moved to tears.

That day, he went to work at the Academy of Art driving on a route that takes him past the American Embassy. People were gathered outside the embassy gates to pay sympathies, to be together, and to mourn. He saw a mass of crying people and decided to use the image of a tear in a memorial.

He set to work that day on a proper and appropriate form through which to express his feelings over the attack. He went through many various sketches and ‘forms' (all of which are chronicled in the yellow book) until finally deciding on the current monument's form.

Zurab traveled to NY shortly after the September 11 th and went to ground zero. The ruins were still steaming. He decided that he wanted to create a memorial to the victims; but that wouldn't want to build on top of the bones of the dead on the ground zero site. He began to look for an appropriate and fitting site on which to erect the memorial.

Zurab spoke with friends and colleagues who were in NY during the attacks. He heard stories about how boats and ferries were used to shuttle survivors away from the Twin Towers. He also learned about the New Jersey residents who worked in the towers. Zurab decided to look for a site in New Jersey, where the monument could be on the waterfront and settled on a never before seen area of the peninsula at Bayonne. Here, the World Trade Center was the backdrop to the waterfront, and so, the backdrop of life. The site had been a military instillation, and the town had decided to convert the land into public park-space.

From this vantage point, the Twin Towers looked almost as if they were in fact one building. His bronze monument reflects that image with a jagged tear through the center, and a 4-ton nickel tear hanging from the top. The tear represents not only the sadness and grief over the loss of life on 9/11 and previous attacks on the World Trade Center, but also hope for a future free from terror.

The monument has several reflective elements, so that the visitor becomes part of the memorial. The nickel tear is shiny and mirror like. The granite name plates which make up the stand for the monument, and on which the names of the victims are etched, is also shiny and reflective.


The Teardrop Memorial


Everything is before your eyes. This “Tear of Grief” will become a tear of happiness, if the United States and Russia unite in the struggle against world terrorism” – said Tsereteli at the dedication ceremony. “I have experienced all these feelings. Of great significance is to battle terrorism through art” – believes the artist.

Website for the Teardrop Memorial


Biography of the artist, Zurab Tsereteli




 We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.' -  James Madison
So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours? — I Kings 3:9

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