About the Statue of Responsibility & how I’m involved

In his mind-shifting, world-changing book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote:

“Freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.”

Dr. Frankl’s earnest recommendation is now becoming an inspiring reality.

The Statue of Responsibility, designed by sculptor Gary Lee Price, is in the process of being built as a 300-foot monument on the west coast, where it will stand as a beacon, a symbol of America’s final hope.

In 2013, the Statue of Responsibility Foundation commissioned me to write a “manifesto” for the project, similar to Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus,” which sits at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

Here is the manifesto:

“United in Freedom”

Written By Stephen Palmer

To this land of liberty flocked the ‘tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’ Today I breathe free and live abundantly because of their blood, sweat, and tears. My brothers, my sisters who have gone before: Never will I forget the monumental price you paid for my freedom. As I joyfully exercise my rights, I will humbly remember my responsibility to mankind. My brothers, my sisters with whom I share this consecrated land: As the hands of our ancestors reach down through the ages to uphold you and me, so too do I extend my hand to you. As great sacrifice was required by our forebears, loving service is required of me. My brothers, my sisters yet unborn: Ever will I remember that my choices today bear consequences for you tomorrow. May my hand reaching across generations be not oppressive, but uplifting. For the lamp of liberty is fueled by responsibility, and our destiny is not individual, but communal. As that is our legacy of the past, so shall it be our hope in the future…

Here is a designed poster of the manifesto:

History of the Statue & Design

In the 1990’s Dr. Frankl and a small group of individuals, including Dr. James Newman. Dr. Stephen R. Covey, and Kevin Hall, got together to discuss how to make Viktor’s suggestion a reality.

In 1997, Gary Lee Price was commissioned to design the Statue of Responsibility.

In 2004, a small group of people, including Gary Lee Price and Kevin Hall, flew to Vienna, Austria to meet with Elly Frankl (Viktor’s widow) to obtain her blessing on Gary’s prototype.

When Gary unveiled his design, which depicts two hands clasped together, Elly could not contain her emotion. She invited Gary into Viktor’s’ private study there in the flat where Viktor had spent his entire life.

Located in a small niche amongst his thousands of books was a woodcarving of a man reaching upward with his hands outstretched toward heaven, entitled “The Suffering Man”:

Elly told Gary how much Viktor cherished this sculpture, which he had discovered shortly after his release from the concentration camps. Viktor, she said, often used it as a metaphor for responsibility, asking the question, “Where is the hand reaching back?”

Elly then said to Gary, “And here you bring me a statue that answers that question.”

That was the moment that Gary knew he had to complete this project.

As the team returned home, there was much excitement and support shown as many hours of planning and research were done.

However, during the following years this project remained somewhat underground, just waiting for the right time to for circumstances to align and for this country to be ready to embrace it.

That time has arrived.