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'Stand' statue honoring women suffragists unveiled in Lexington

Posted at 11:32 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 12:48:09-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — State and community leaders gathered in downtown Lexington Wednesday to dedicate a statue that celebrates the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th amendment, earning women the right to vote.

The statue, called "Stand" and created by artist Barbara Grygutis, sits near the intersection of Vine and Mill Streets and features the silhouettes of five suffragists.

Stand Statue.jpg

Gov. Andy Beshear, Congressman Andy Barr, Mayor Linda Gorton and others noted the importance of honoring the historical accomplishments of women and the impact it will have on future generations.

"We still have far too many people, and I don't think they mean to, that tell my daughter she's pretty before they tell her that she's smart," Gov. Beshear said. "We still have a long way to go to make sure we just treat people as people."

Fayette District Judge Melissa Moore Murphy drew attention to black suffragists like Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells, who fought for the right to vote despite great adversity.

"It's important that we acknowledge and we pay tribute to the countless black women that were also members of the movement, that fought for the women's right to vote, but have been eliminated from the telling of the story," she said.

Some in the socially distanced crowd, like Maribeth Schmitt, said they showed up downtown to witness history.

Schmitt said she wanted to honor her mother, who recently died at 96-years-old.

"She kind of broke the glass ceiling years ago when she joined the Navy during World War II," she said.

The statue was planned with the backing of the Breaking the Bronze Ceiling Steering Committee, with Lexington council members Jennifer Mossotti and Kathy Plomin leading the charge.