What do you think of when someone says Plymouth, MA? I bet Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower come to mind right away. Maybe you think of Pilgrims and Plimouth Plantation. But I wonder if you knew that Plymouth is also home to the world’s largest solid granite monument,the third-tallest statue in the United States?
As you follow RT 44 into Plymouth there’s a little sign pointing to the National Monument to the Forefathers. I have driven by that sign so many times that I’ve lost count. Every time I drive by I say to myself, “I need to check that out sometime.” but I never seem to take the time. Sometimes fate has to take a hand.
The other night I was heading home just about dusk. As I started up RT 44 I ran into a detour for road construction. The detour routed traffic down Allerton St. As I followed the detour signs I turned a corner and my mouth dropped. I was glad I had the camera with me because I was looking at a huge statue. I had no idea the National Monument to the Forefathers was so impressive. I walked up to take a closer look.
The monument, which faces northeast to Plymouth Harbor (and, roughly, towards Plymouth, England), sits in the center of a circular drive. On the main pedestal stands the heroic figure of “Faith” with her right hand pointing toward heaven and her left hand clutching the Bible. Counter-clockwise from the feet of “Faith” are Morality, Law, Education, and Liberty. Each was carved from a solid block of granite, posed in the sitting position upon chairs with a high relief on either side of minor characteristics. Under “Morality” stand “Prophet” and “Evangelist”; under “Law” stand “Justice” and “Mercy”; under “Education” are “Youth” and “Wisdom”; and under “Liberty” stand “Tyranny Overthrown” and “Peace”.
As I explored this colossus and its little park, more and more cars pulled up and stopped. I bet there were more people visiting the monument thanks to the detour than normally visit all summer!
If you’re coming to Plymouth, MA it will only take a minute to stop by this monument and it is definitely worth those few minutes.