Who Is Columbia?
War Memorial Centerpiece
Our main statue, located in the center plaza, was designed and sculpted by Utah artist Shari Acevedo-McBride. It is named “Columbia.” Columbia has been visualized as a goddess-like female national personification of the United States and of liberty itself for hundreds of years. This personification was sometimes called Lady Columbia, or Miss Columbia. As such, she is an apt choice for personifying our respect, our admiration, and our memory for all of those courageous young men and women who sacrificed much for our city, our state, and our republic.
She is standing on a bronze platform that is decorated with a wheat motif. She is leaning forward and looking down upon a bowed shelf that she is holding with five helmets representing the major wars fought by our sons and daughters in the 20th and 21st centuries, including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the more recent conflicts—the Gulf War (Operation Desert Shield), the Iraq War (“shock and awe”) and the War in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom). A draped flag lies underneath the helmets, and the shelf is bowed by the weight of the sacrifices paid by our men and women in uniform. The shelf itself is tilted forward because it is almost more than Columbia can bear. By her feet is a Seagull and a small bunch of cherries.
Each of us are blessed to enjoy freedoms and liberties that we might not otherwise have were it not for the courageous efforts and sacrifices by our men and women who served so bravely. Many paid the ultimate price for their families, their community, and their country. To the families of those who gave their all, as well as those heroes who came home, we salute you, honor you, and will always remember you.