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Charters of Freedom progressing 

Unveiling to occur in the fall 

 

COUMBUS—The Charters of Freedom project was mentioned during two local government meetings in June.  

Columbus Councilman Robert Williamson said the project is moving forward, with town crews helping to remove shrubs and local companies donating time, equipment and materials to pour the foundation, masonry and bricks. Columbus also recently hosted a luncheon for core members to begin planning a dedication ceremony.  

Williamson said the project could be complete in the next three weeks.  

During the last Polk County Board of Commissioner meeting, a video about the Charters of Freedom project was shown. Commissioner Ray Gasperson said the dedication will likely be in either September or October.  

“I think this is really a big deal this is coming to Polk County,” Gasperson said.  

All commissioners commented on what a great project this is for Polk County and its children.  

“Ever since we first heard of this project I thought it would be a great thing,” said commissioner Jake Johnson.  

Commissioner vice chair Myron Yoder said these parts of history are hard to pass on to our children and this will be a great opportunity for children to come out and see it and put their eyes and hands on them.  

The county was gifted the Charters of Freedom last year by Foundation Forward Inc. The Charters of Freedom are displays of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. County commissioners tasked the county appearance commission to find the best location in the county for the displays. The appearance commission recommended Veteran’s Park in Columbus and county commissioners and Columbus Town Council agreed earlier this year on the location.  

Gasperson said the displays are built to last, likely for hundreds of years with the casings engraved in brass. He also mentioned there will be a time capsule, which will not be open again until 2076, the 300th anniversary of the country.  

“Wouldn’t it be neat to have your name there in 2076?” Gasperson asked.  

Commissioner Chair Tommy Melton said as soon as the Charters of Freedom were offered for the county, commissioners jumped on it and unanimously approved it.  

“We are so proud,” Melton said. “These are documents we need to have in Polk County for our youth.”