RONALD CURRY Pillars of Civilization 2004 [A] - x +
CurR2004civi


CN: CurR2004civi

MT: marble (85x125x125)

TX: incised on top <LET ALL WHO PAUSE HERE / CONSIDER THE PROPOSITION THAT / EDUCATION AND FREEDOM / ARE THE PRINCIPAL PILLARS OF CIVILIZATION>, at side <THE AMERICAS / "TO EDUCATE A MAN / IS TO FOREVER UNFIT HIM TO BE A SLAVE" / - FREDERICK DOUGLASS ->, at side <ASIA / "EDUCATION IS THAT WHICH LIBERATES" / - MAHATMA GANDHI ->, at side <EUROPE / "ONLY THE EDUCATED ARE FREE" / - EPICTITOS ->, at side < OCEANIA / "EDUCATION SHOULD BE / THE GREAT INSTRUMENT FOR THE PROMOTION OF EQUALITY" / - EDWARD GOUGH WHITLAM ->, at side <AFRICA / "EDUCATION IS / CRUCIAL TO LIVING A LIFE OF SECURITY AND FREEDOM" / - NELSON MANDELA ->

DN: United States Military Retiree Association Greece - 2004

LC: ACG Stadium

CM: Ronald N. Curry is an engineer and a retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant. He presently heads the United States Military Retiree Association Greece (USMRAG). On the occasion of the Athens Olympic Games of 2004, Lieutenant Curry designed and dedicated a monument to celebrate education and freedom as the principal pillars of civilization. The College in which this monument stands considers is to be one of its most important artworks. Its title is Pillars of Civilization and it is displayed at the heart of the campus, by the Stadium, which is a site for graduation ceremonies, and where the College's flag posts stand.

Pillars of Civilization has a pyramidal shape, symbolizing the wisdom of the ages, and has five sides, each representing one of the five Olympic continents. On 27 July 2004, in the presence of citizens, ambassadors, and ministers from the five Olympic continents of the earth, Lieutenant Curry delivered a moving dedication address based on Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Five young citizens of those continents, who are also students at the American College of Greece, unveiled the quotations engraved on the sides of the monument. Each student, standing before a prominent witness from their continent, read the quotation aloud. The quotations are as follows: The Americas: "To educate a man is to forever unfit him to be a slave" by Frederick Douglass in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. / Asia: "Education is that which liberates" by Mahatma Gandhi in Theory of Value. / Europe: "Only the educated are free" by Epictitos in Discourses. / Oceania: "Education should be the great instrument for the promotion of equality" by Edward Gough Whitlam in a speech given on 13 November 1972. / Africa: "Education is crucial to living a life of security and freedom" by Nelson Mandela in a speech given at Inanda Seminary, 29 May 2001.

Lieutenant Curry concluded his dedication speech with the following words: "None of us here can claim to have the wisdom or the vision of the men whose words we have just heard. But when we were younger, each of us in the military retiree community dedicated our whole body and our whole soul, to the cause of securing the right of present and future generations to be both free and educated. We continue to believe that each of us has a duty to do all we can to loose the chains from all the people of planet Earth; to promote their opportunity to walk in the light; and to facilitate their access to education."

[Megakles Rogakos 03/2005]

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