Evansville, IN

When first approaching the monument from the street, you come upon 13 steps leading up to a circular concrete base. In the center of this base are four Ionic columns made of limestone. The Ionic order of columns is one of the three Greek orders. Unlike the Greek order, the shafts on these columns are smooth rather than fluted. Fifty pedestals placed at the edge of the circular floor surround these four columns. There are also lights located below the monument shining upwards that give it a glowing look at night.

The four columns represent four of our nation's most beloved freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, and freedom from oppression. The circular base is believed by some to symbolize a "circle of unity," as well as a fifth freedom, the right to peacefully assemble. Each of the fifty pedestals contains the name of one of the fifty states and a graphic of that state's contribution to individual freedom. The thirteen steps leading up to the monument represent the 13 original colonies.

The monument was opened to the public in 1976 during Evansville's annual Freedom Festival. This was a special year because they were also celebrating the United State's Bicentennial. The monument may have been opened in '76, but the columns are much older. They were constructed back in 1882 when they were originally located on the front of the C&EI Railroad Depot which was located at the corner of 8th Street and Main St. It was torn down in 1961, but the four large columns were salvaged for later use.

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