Utica Statues: Controversy-Free, Right?
There's been a lot of focus recently on the significance of statues. Many in the south have been vandalized or removed. So, what's the status of Utica's many statues? Are any of them inappropriate in today's day and age? As you drive past them, are you aware of who they depict or what they represent?
Here's a crash course in Utica monument appreciation...
The man captured at the top of the post is James Schoolcraft Sherman. He was the 27th vice president of the United States, from 1909-1912, under president William Howard Taft. He was a friendly conservative known as "Sunny Jim," he was born and died in Utica, and attended Hamilton College. His statue is located on Utica's Memorial Parkway.
The Eagle above is perhaps Utica's most famous statue. Located at the top of Valley View, it's a spectacular overlook, a turnaround for runners, and a meeting place for lovers and other strangers.
The statue above sits at Oneida Square and celebrates all soldiers from Oneida County who fought and died in the Civil War. Here's more info on this one.
U.S. Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski's presence graces bridges, submarines, towns, and the statue above on the Parkway. Among the accomplishments of the Polish nobleman and honorary U.S. citizen was saving George Washington's life during the American Revolution.
The icon above (across from Roscoe Conkling Park), the Swan Memorial Fountain, was dedicated to Utica attorney Joseph Swan and donated by his wife.
The monument above, in honor of Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, sits at the western end of the Utica Parkway. Its subject was a military hero and chief of staff under George Washington. Later in life he settled into an estate near Rome, where he lived his remaining years.
There are many other proud statues along the parkway and elsewhere in our area, celebrating the efforts and sacrifices of our soldiers in various wars, including the poignant one above ("WE SPEAK FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T") in honor of prisoners of war and other soldiers who went missing in action.
Will all these statues still be standing in another century? Which other current heroes will be honored for future generations to behold?