March 13, 2002 - Lady Liberty

Have you driven down the Liberty Highway yet? That's what some folks are starting to call a section of Louisiana 22 in Livingston Parish.

The bronze colored bell gleams in the light of a late winter sun. Imperfect in its perfection, Sam Edwards's Liberty Bell does not have a crack in it, but he says he is going to remedy that real soon. The Liberty Bell is only the beginning of his tribute to God and country.

"With the situation the world is in today, I thought it was a good idea to go ahead and do it for everybody," says Sam, "For all the veterans, heroes and everybody in America. Mostly, I would like everybody not to forget the mothers and daddies of all the heroes. They are going through a lot, too, now. It's for everybody."

"How much of your own money have you got in this?" I ask. "Without my labor, about $3,000, but price is no problem for what it means. I could afford it and wanted to do it for everybody, so I'm doing it."

Sam has more than his 3,000 bucks invested in this project. Over the three or four months that he has worked on it he has busted a rib, he figured out how to get a 165-pound concrete eagle 13 1/2 feet in the air so it could tower over Lady Liberty's 11-foot-high torch, and he has turned this section of LA 22 into the Liberty Highway. Whitehall is two-and-a-half miles west of Maurepas on LA 22. If you're headed east, you'll see Sam's display on the left side of the road.