Veterans Day is a day of reflection and thanksgiving for the freedoms many sacrificed their lives to give.
On such a special day, the Utah Democracy Project invited Dr. Daniel L. Bolz to speak to students with a lecture titled “Freedom Highway.”
According to Professor David R. Keller, Center for the Study of Ethics director and professor of Philosophy, the Utah Democracy Project is a theme that the Center of Ethics has developed to have open forums about public policies in which citizens and students have an opinion in democracy.
“Scholarship and study is a lonely, solitary activity, right?” said Keller. “You sit in the library, I sit in the library and that program is called ‘ethics across the curriculum’ … The Utah Democracy Project is meant to complement the solitary study with open public forums where we come together and talk about living in an open society, focusing in the responsibility you have to educate yourself in issues and get the students involved in the democratic process.”
“An absolute basic, true message, with great freedom comes great responsibility … It has to be in our hearts, it has to be in our minds and it has to be in our actions.”
Responsibility was the main subject in the lecture given by Dr. Bolz. In his opening statement, he mentioned Dr. Viktor E. Frankl’s vision of building a Statue of Responsibility. He also talked about the Statue of Liberty and how it has become an international icon to represent liberty.
The main message of the lecture was to make students aware of the social responsibility they have as students and citizens. Dr. Bolz said that he titled the lecture “Freedom Highway” because there are two principles in which our freedom lies: liberty and responsibility.
Dr. Daniel L. Bolz is the president and CEO of the Statue of Responsibility Foundation, which is dedicated to building upon a vision Dr. Viktor E. Frankl had more than 40 years ago. The idea is to build a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast to complement the Statue of Liberty in the East Coast.
The idea was conceived in Vienna by Dr. Frankl, but began coming to fruition here in Utah on April 14 of this year after the Senate, the House of Representatives and Governor Herbert signed the contract HCR16 to build this statue.
The total cost of the project, according to the foundation’s website, is estimated at $300 million, including the monument, the facilities and also a scholarship fund they want to create to give out yearly.
Bolz spoke about preserving freedom and how this monument will symbolize the responsibility citizens have to themselves, their fellowmen and their country.
“An absolute basic, true message,” said Bolz, “with great freedom comes great responsibility … It has to be in our hearts, it has to be in our minds and it has to be in our actions.”
He added, “Frankl knew that the best way to continue to have that message in front of us was not to write another book, but to build a monument; that’s what his vision was all about.”
The lecture, according to students, was very interesting and helpful. Some agree with the project, while others were not so sure about it.
“I think it is a good idea,” said senior Tyler Graff. “Two symbols, one on each side with responsibility and liberty equaling freedom rights – I like the concept.”
“I think it is an interesting concept that I would love to learn more about, but that’s a lot of money,” said student Cyndi Schumscher, “and I don’t know quite yet if this is such a great cause, necessarily, for such a big amount of money that could be donated to homeless children instead.”