Community gathers for a history lesson: Seven Pillars Memorial
JACKSON, Tenn. –Community members meet to learn more about a local monument.
“Today, we are recognizing the individuals that were placed at the Seven Pillars Memorial Monument at Shirlene Mercer Park. Bishop Isaac Lane, Austin Raymond Merry, Miles Vandahurst Lynk, Beebe Steven Lynk, Milmon Mitchell, Samuel McElwee,” said Tony Black, chairman Seven Pillars project.
Black says they made a major impact in Jackson.
“They were instrumental in making Jackson a better community and we just wanted the community to know these individuals. And to understand that they played a key role in the development of Jackson, the African American community and Jackson as a whole,” Black said.
The sculptor of the pillars, Aaron Lee Benson explained the monument.
“The title comes from Proverbs 9:1 where it speaks about wisdom that is built on seven pillars,” said Aaron Lee Benson, creator/sculptor Seven Pillars Monument.
He also explains each part of the monument.
“There’s seven massive boulders at the top of this hill, each one of those seven boulders represents a distinct individual or group of individuals in the history of Jackson, Madison County that made a significant contribution to the success of this area,” Benson said.
“The hill is just a spiritual metaphor for rising up, ascending up. When we talk or think spiritually we always look upward,” Benson said.
“The trees around the base are a metaphor for the young people in Jackson-Madison County, which I think is just critical that they know these great heroes of the past,” Benson said.
Black says it’s important to have educational events like these.
“I think people are interested in hearing history. And I think it’s important that we know these individuals, because many of them when I took this project, I did not know some of the work that many of them did,” Black said.
Black also says the committee is planning a series to take place at Shirlene Mercer Park to highlight the park.