Monday, July 30, 2012

American Icon

It's an image, a representation, or an important and enduring symbol . . . an icon. It's instant identification -- just one glance and everyone knows exactly what you're talking about. So when it comes to our great country and what we stand for, I can't think of anything more iconic than the Statue of Liberty.

Of all the cities, countries, states, and towns I've visited, one important spot continues to elude me -- New York City. Yes, I've never set foot in the Big Apple but that hasn't stopped me from photographing the Statue of Liberty because I've discovered one in my own backyard . . . in Milwaukie, Oregon.

The Oregon version of Lady Liberty is 31 feet tall, rising to over 50 feet including the pedestal base, while the original sculpture measures 151 feet tall, 305 feet with its base. Legend has it this 1/5 scale replica was purchased by a strip mall owner of Middle Eastern descent who wanted to express his gratitude and love for the United States by displaying the icon in front of his store. Its construction and installation offered some challenges - apparently one of the spires broke off and the statue caught on fire while it was being reattached - but the finished product appears pristine.

On its base, the statue has a plaque that reads: Liberty, Freedom for all Nations; Freedom for all People; Let Freedom Ring! And that's what it says to me too.