The Butler County Freedom Memorial—celebrating freedom nationwide—is dedicated to the men and women of Butler County, Kansas who have served to advance the freedom of our great nation. Located on the front lawn of the historic Butler County Court House, 205 West Central, El Dorado, KS, the memorial’s focal point on the east lawn—a large bronze eagle—is balanced with the Statue of Liberty, on the west lawn.
Connecting these two centers of interest are memorial sidewalks comprised of granite panels upon which are engraved the names of persons honored. More than 900 names are engraved on the Eagle side; more than 500 on the Statue of Liberty side. Both walkways are lined with black granite benches purchased by and honoring military veterans and organizations.
“The Signers’ Panel”—The Centerpoint
The walkways converge at the centerpoint which displays a flagpole, dedicated by the VFW to veterans who “valorously defended the flag it bears,” and a Signers’ Panel located just beneath the flagpole. This panel contains the names of the 56 Americans who signed the Declaration of Independence, and in addition, George Washington—the Father of our Country; Patrick Henry—the Voice of Freedom; and George Mason—the Pen of Freedom. The area bears the inscription: OUR FREEDOM BEGAN WHEN IN 1776 THESE COURAGEOUS MEN SIGNED THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
“Sovereign Wings”—The Eagle Side
Designed by Sandy Scott, a widely acclaimed sculptor, the larger-than-life-sized cast bronze eagle is poised majestically for flight on top of a brick and limestone base. Scott’s design of this piece won the Gold Medal in Colorado’s Bronze Statue Art Contest. Flanking the eagle in a semi-circle on the east and south, is a six-and-one-half-foot-high cut limestone wall which features black granite insets displaying the Great Seal of the United States of America and individual emblems for the United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy.
A single panel in one of the walkways pays tribute to Prisoners of War (POWs) and those Missing in Action (MIAs).
“The Statue of Liberty”—Miss Liberty Side
The Statue of Liberty featured on the West side was originally presented to the Butler County community by local troops of the Boy Scouts of America on June 14, 1950. The statue is one of approximately 200 replicas of Miss Liberty which were purchased and dedicated at that time by Boy Scout troops all over the United States. Thanks to a donation by patrons Howard and Barbara Redburn, the statue was restored in 2004 to like-new condition. Miss Liberty stands atop a limestone pedestal that is surrounded by a star-shaped wall.
See “Memorial History” for total story of the Butler County Freedom Memorial.