“De Oppresso Liber” Statue Finds Home at Ground Zero

November 11th, 2011

Mary Altaffer/AP

Sculptor Douwe Blumberg’s “De Oppresso Liber” statue made its way through New York City Friday afternoon as part of the city’s 92nd Veterans Day parade.

The statue rode on a float from Fifth Ave at 23d and continued north to Fifth Ave at 56th. It will be dedicated Friday evening by Vice President Joseph Biden and Lt. Gen. John Mulholland in the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center.

Emblazoned with a motto taken from the Green Berets’ meaning “to free the oppressed,” Blumberg sculpted the 16-foot-tall, 5,000 pound bronze statue of a Special Forces soldier on horseback to commemorate the soldiers who went into Afghanistan after 9/11. Subtitled “America’s Response Monument,” a piece of steel from the World Trade Center is embedded into the statue’s base.

The statue will be permanently housed at Ground Zero, but is being temporarily placed in the lobby of One World Financial Center following its dedication. The owners of the building, Brookfield Properties, also own Zuccotti Park and had considered placing the statue there until the Occupy Wall Street protest set up base there almost two months ago.

Tayla Holman

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