As Fishers celebrates independence with its annual Freedom Festival, a group of residents is planning another way for the town to show its patriotism throughout the year.
Plans for Liberty Plaza—a monument honoring those who have fought for our country and celebrating the American freedoms we enjoy—were officially unveiled during the Fishers Town Hall Memorial Day Celebration May 28.
The idea for a monument in front of Town Hall took root in early 2005, when a few Fishers patriotic citizens, along with Town Council and Chamber representatives, explored the idea of creating a structure that would honor past, present and future military and public servants and would be dedicated to the preservation of American freedoms and liberty. Officially adopted as an initiative of The Fishers Economics Development Commission, the Liberty Plaza Taskforce was organized in mid-2006 to implement the plan.
A model for the proposed monument and plaza design was presented at the May 28 Memorial Day celebration. Pete Pippen, chairman of the Liberty Plaza Taskforce and a longtime resident and military veteran, made the announcement: “As we enjoy living and working in the safe atmosphere of Fishers, we must realize that our beautiful town has grown, in great part, from the efforts of our community’s heroes, past and present. To help ensure that the efforts of all who uphold freedom and safety will remain forever in the minds of our children and grandchildren, we are constructing Liberty Plaza, a monumental tribute that will celebrate those who have served in defense of our liberty, and continue to serve in defense of security at home.”
Funding for development and construction is dependent upon the financial support of local business and community leaders, patriotic citizens and available grants. The strip of land in front of Town Hall will be home to the new monument, courtesy of the Town of Fishers.
Design consultant and Task Force member Richard Listenberger provides his rationale and inspiration for the monument’s design: “The Plaza is a circular layout representing the concept of ‘continuation,’” he said, adding that the sculpture’s multiple-level base will allow for a continuous waterfall.
“The elevated monument formation is constructed with eight individual, free-standing stone columns that graduate upward in circular motion. Each column represents the growth of our nation by way of individual strengths, and the collective efforts of many, to preserve our heritage,” continued Listenberger. “A pattern of stars etched on both sides of each column total 50 in number, representing each state in the Union. Ascending off the tallest column is the most notable of American icons, the Bald Eagle, forever strong…forever free.”
The overall height from ground level will be 23 feet. The brick plaza area—featuring bench seating, flag pole and landscaping—measures about 34 feet across.
Since the events of 9/11, scores of smaller communities across the nation have expressed their patriotism by erecting memorials and monuments. Fishers has a great heritage that includes grave markers of veterans from the Revolutionary War, and every major war since. While Liberty Plaza is not intended to be a grave marker, it will serve as a prominent reminder and tribute to those who have served and continue to serve in the defense of our great nation and this community.
“In its entirety, the monument environment is intended to pay tribute, symbolize strength and provide a sense of peace and security to everyone who visits the Plaza,” Listenberger said.
The desired goal for completion is November 11, 2008. For more information and to learn how you may contribute, contact: Liberty Plaza – A Celebration of Freedom, Economic & Community Development Commission, 11601 Municipal Drive, Fishers, IN 46038, or call 578-0700.