Tuesday, July 14, 2015

London, England: Parliament Square

In professional sports, the ultimate honor bestowed by a team on a player used to be a retired uniform number. The idea is that the number would always be associated with that person. Then came along a bigger tribute. You're nothing, these days, unless you get a statue.

Apparently the United Kingdom got there first. It opted to honor heroes with statues well before sports teams got the idea.

Some of the nation's greatest figures are remembered in Parliament Square, which is right across the street from the Houses of Parliament. The square has been around since 1868, and it featured London's first traffic signals.

Eleven people are so honored. Can you name the only American to be so honored? I would have guessed Franklin Roosevelt - World War II and all that - and I would have been wrong. Abraham Lincoln is the winner. The list also included Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli, David Lloyd George and Nelson Mandela. The latest addition came in 2015, with a statue for Mahatma Gandhi.

It looks like Edward Smith-Stanley, the 14th Earl of Derby, is getting some touch-up work done. He is a former Prime Minister (1850s and 1860s) and Chancellor at Oxford.

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