Kerala Samajam of South Florida
FLORIDA, U.S., October 2012 (Press Release): On October 2nd, 2012, an inspiring message of peace and harmony manifested and seemed to walk alongside men and women. After a year of careful planning and advocating by the Kerala Samajam of South Florida, the Mahatma Gandhi Square Inc. in Davie, Florida finally saw completion on the anniversary of Gandhi's birthday. Located in Falcon's Lea Park, the newly erected statue will serve as a reminder of Gandhi's ideals of non-violence and tolerance for many generations.
Dr. Thomas Panavelil, a member of the Kerela Samajam's advisory board, said the event would have been impossible without the cooperation of the entire community, over 43,000 Indian residents in South Florida. "Initially, our organization began planning alone. But we reached out to the larger Indian community, and everything came together." said Panavelil.
The six foot bronze statue was designed by Matt Glenn of Big Statues in Provo, Utah. Glenn also donated $35,000 towards the cost of the statue's creation. The statue and its surrounding structures evoke an atmosphere of calm, harmony and reverence for the great man now represented in a shining, metal form at the center of the square. The statue is at the center of the memorial, which also includes many stepping stones, symbolic of the steps Gandhi took toward helping India achieve independence in 1947, and circles representing the origin of humanity.
Over 600 attendees braved the rain to pay their respects to Gandhi. Dignitaries and politicians from all over the world were gathered on the day of the dedication to acknowledge the historic event, including the 11th president of India, His Excellency Dr. Abdul Kalam. Kalam.