Brittney Burns – Staff Writer
Macon County’s courthouse plaza is in the demolition process this week, as the county is getting started on the installation of the Charters of Freedom monument. Last year, Foundation Forward, a non-profit organization that provides Charters of Freedom monuments around the country, presented a request to county leaders to gift Macon County with a monument. After the commissioners unanimously accepted the offer, a spot on the courthouse square was chosen and with warm weather, county staff got to work last week clearing the way for the installation.
The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, collectively known as the Charters of Freedom, have guaranteed the rights and freedoms of Americans for more than 200 years. Thanks to the leadership of Macon County Commissioner Gary Shields and with the support of the board of commissioners, Macon County residents will soon be able to view replicas of the documents firsthand.
“Our courthouse square is a central location for our town and I think adding the monuments to the plaza will give the public a great opportunity to view these documents,” said County Manager Derek Roland. “They will make a great staple for the courthouse and will add to the features that are already there.”
The Charters of Freedom will be constructed from brick, which will match the brick sidewalk that leads up to the courthouse. Foundation Forward will cover the cost of the monuments, which is expected to cost about $25,000.
Foundation Forward works to bring the Charters of Freedom to local communities in life size replicas of the monuments in the National Archives. Charters of Freedom Monuments are placed in a location central to the community, with 24 hour access, high visibility, high foot traffic, and easy access for school children. Shields noted that the location on the courthouse is an ideal location to be able to do that.
Jackson County just recently unveiled their monument to the public, which is located at Mark Watson Park. In addition to the Charters of Freedom, the monuments also include a time capsule will be opened concurrently on Sept. 17, 2087 – the 300th Anniversary of the U.S. Constitution.