Monuments to Eternity

SteveAnthonyby Steve Anthony, resident and student of all things Montevideo, who arrived in June of 2014 and plans to stay quite a while.  He writes of the monuments everywhere in Montevideo

It’s a flat land, or perhaps a land of rolling hills, not mountains like where I’ve come from in Washington State. I thought initially Montevideo was called that somehow because of ConfuciusParqueRodoall the monuments, but no it has something to do with seeing a mountain or hill or in some circles, Cosmopolitan City could be a Spanish translation. Well monuments are here–monuments to Gahndi, Khalil Gibran, Cervantes, Churchill, to the Hollocost victims, to a polish woman who was a labor organizer, to David the  slayer of Goliath (a personaGhandil favorite) prominently in front of City Hall, Confucius (in Parque Rodo), to the filmmakers who resisted the dictatorship, to Socrates, to William Tell, to Lemenja the Goddess of the Sea, to various composers and conductors of Philharmonic Orchestras, and to honor places where political demonstrations took place in a flash and were evacuated as quickly to avoid arrests.  Montevideo honors Nelson

SlaveParqueAquateraenPocitos
This is the only statue I know of in Montevideo memorializing the contribution of the slaves, located in Parque Aquateraen in Pocitos

Mandella, musicians, doctors, poets, pioneers in the creation of both Olympic games and the World Cup soccer tournaments, and the heroes of the fight for Independence. Many monuments to the pioneers who settled from Europe. What is  honored and preserved in the monuments is an appreciation of beauty in art, dedication to freedom, and respect for the struggles of ordinary people. Wandering the city and moving through our days, seeing the variety of

Khalil Gilbran in Pocitos near the Navel Station
Khalil Gilbran in Pocitos near the Navel Station

monuments memorializing people and moments of history, it becomes evident that this city and culture honors humanity, connection, art, beauty, courage, and all the concerns of people who care about their world.  It makes a case for a society with warmth and an eternal soul, and it provides a weave between present and past that enriches and strengthens our connection to society, those around us, and those of the future that will be looking back to where we are now and pausing a moment to take in the meaning of lives well lived.  Arriba Montevideo!