|National Monument to the Forefathers, Plymouth, Massachusetts|
|Statue with my husband standing in front to |
help you grasp the size. Click to enlarge.
Yet, like many I did . . . until recently. When I visited Plymouth at the end of September, I made a point of finding the monument that had eluded me, or I it, for well over 4 decades. So off I went, along with my husband who also had also never been to the monument despite his own similar experience, and I will add that his family has a strong history in Plymouth originating from Governor William Bradford and generations up until present day are buried in its historical Plymouth cemeteries. We wound our way, zig-zagged rather, up narrow streets behind the main thoroughfare of Plymouth until we can upon a large clearing on a mound where the National Monument to the Forefathers stood as a proud sentinel and testament to the "memory of the virtues, the enterprise, and the unparalleled sufferings of their ancestors." And we were in awe.
A poem read at the dedication of this monument on August 1, 1889, written by John Boyle O'Reilly, reads: “This Monument, where Virtue, Courage, Law and Learning sit, Calm Faith, above them, grasping Holy Writ; White hand upraised o’er beauteous trusting eyes, and pleading finger pointing to the skies."
"Towering high in its majestic splendor, the central figure of the monument is Faith. She stands upon a main pedestal, one foot resting upon a replica of Plymouth Rock, and holds an open Bible in her left hand. Her right hand points heavenward. The symbolism is trust in God and His unfailing words, written down for us in the Bible.
"Four smaller, seated figures represent the Christian values and principles promulgated by the Pilgrims themselves. They are Morality, Law, Education and Liberty. Morality holds the Ten Commandments in her left hand nd the scroll of Revelation – the last book of the Bible, in the right. She is flanked by an Old Testament prophet on one side, and the Evangelists on the other. Law is tempered with Justice on the one hand, and Mercy on the other. Education is represented with the Wisdom of maturity on one side and Youth following Experience on the other. Liberty is accompanied by Peace on the one side and the Overthrow of Tyranny on the opposite side."
|3 of the 4 reliefs: Education, Morality, Law|
The photographs below show two facades from the octagonal base where the names of the pilgrims who arrived in 1620 are inscribed. I can't describe the way it felt to read these names and note the lists held 9 of my ancestors and 14 of my husbands.