Our View: A historic event occurs Sunday
A historic Scout statue dedication is scheduled in Lakefront Park Sunday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. Historic because it has been many, many years since a statue, or monument, has been constructed and dedicated in a city park in Hudson.
The statue represents much about what is good in America. Scouting represents adults and children working together to learn skills, serve other people and volunteer their time and efforts. The statue is also a very attractive addition to the park and should be welcomed by most citizens.
This monument did not come easily, however.
The decision by the city's Park Board and council to approve the statue came after considerable - and sometimes passionate - discussion. Some of the talk was about whether putting the Scout statue in the park would bring a reaction from groups opposed to the organization's practice of excluding homosexuals and atheists from its membership.
Some board members, while voting to accept the statue, expressed some concern that doing so would open the city to more monument proposals from other organizations.
Those, of course, are legitimate concerns. But, it seems that honoring a worthwhile organization should not be held hostage by threats about what "might happen."
The Northern Star Council is giving the statues to communities in celebration of the Boy Scouts of America's 100th anniversary in 2010. The application form said that public property would be favored over private property as sites for the statues. It also said the sites and areas surrounding them should reflect the purpose of the statues themselves - "to promote the values of Scouting, and ties to the community and volunteerism/service."
Sites were evaluated for their appearance, visibility, function as a gathering place and accessibility - especially in consideration for safety of children and families. Each statue is individually cast and weighs 400 pounds. The price of one statue is about $20,000.
The six-foot bronze statue of an idealized Scout, looking downriver, is one of six similar statues being placed throughout the Northern Star Council's service area, which includes much of the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin.
Hudson was selected in recognition of its history as a strong Scouting community, which continues today. Last year more than 450 young people in 12 scouting packs/troops were involved in Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts, supported by over 140 volunteer adult leaders. Last year 13 local Scouts achieved the Eagle Scout Award, Scouting's highest rank.
Landscaping and site preparation in Lakefront Park have been underway by with area Scouts and leaders working on the project.
The new Scout statue in Lakefront Park will be formally dedicated Sunday. The ceremony will include local Scouts and John Andrews, Scout Executive (CEO) of the Northern Star Council BSA.
We like the looks of the new Lakefront Park addition!