Sunday, March 7, 2004

Let's build a Colossus of Cincinnati

Your voice: Mike Kellerman

In 304 B.C., construction of a statue on the Island of Rhodes began. This statue was no ordinary statue. Standing 110 feet tall upon a 50-foot pedestal, at the entrance to the harbor of Rhodes, the bronze-plated statue stood as a symbol of victory and freedom after a war with the Roman General Antigous.

When Alexander the Great died, his kingdom was split among three of his generals, who all fought bitterly for control of Alexander's empire. One of these generals, Antigous, was angered that the city of Rhodes would worship one of his rival generals. With 40,000 soldiers, more than the population of Rhodes, Antigous' son Demetrius attacked the city of Rhodes. In the end Antigous was defeated and the proud city of Rhodes conceived of the idea of the Colossus of Rhodes, which would become one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

So why am I telling you this? Well, we all know that Cincinnati has had its fair share of problems in the past. Many times these problems seem insurmountable. Like the city of Rhodes, it seems that Cincinnati is always confronted by an enemy much bigger than itself. Throughout the history of Cincinnati, the city has been confronted with problems, worked through the problems, and moved on.

However, today many suburbanites seem to be running from the problems. They continue to complain about our city and then run home to their suburban refuges for comfort. Those of us who live in this beautiful city of Cincinnati must do justice to our namesake, Cincinnatus.

Cincinnatus took up the supreme command, defeated Rome's enemies, and then returned home to his life. We must do the same.

When we have finished, why not erect an enormous statue for all the world to show that Cincinnati will not be defeated? Many cities create their own tourist attractions. San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Street, New York has the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, and Hollywood has its sign. As a Cincinnatian, wouldn't you be proud to be driving toward Cincinnati on the Interstate 71/75 cut in the hill and see the Colossus Cincinnatus standing proudly atop Mount Auburn, Mount Adams, or in the middle of the new Banks district, for visitors and fellow Cincinnatians to see? I think you would. I know I would.


Mike Kellerman, a downtown resident, is an office manager and a graduate student at the University of Cincinnati.


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