The American Friends of the Czech Republic have worked long and hard, and raised a lot of money, to rebuild (not restore) the Wilson Monument at Prague’s central train station. They are celebrating in style between 4 and 7 October including a $250 per plate dedication dinner.
We will only be attending two of the events, both free. Here is the official announcement:
Dedication of Rebuilt Woodrow Wilson Monument
Where: Vrchlického sady, (Nové Město, between Opletalova Street and Main Train Station)
Time: 11:00 am 5 October
Admission: Free and Open to the Public
Dedication Ceremony featuring U.S. and Czech officials, musical and military tributes, and the formal unveiling of the Woodrow Wilson Monument and the Walk of Freedom.
The listed celebrities to attend are President Vaclav Klaus and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. We will be attending because of our love of history and interest in the American connection.
The original 3.5 meter statue was erected in 1928 and removed by the Germans in 1941. The train station itself was originally opened in 1871 and named Franz Joseph I. During the first republic and between 1945 to 1953 it was named Wilson station (Wilsonovo nádraží), I haven’t found when after the communists left that the name was brought back as it is commonly called Prague main railway station.
Woodrow Wilson, US President from 1913-1921, had a long-standing friendship with first Czechoslovak President Tomas Masaryk and was instrumental in obtaining international recognition for the new country. This relationship and the history of the founding of Czechoslovakia is the subject of a special exhibit at the New building(Vinohradska 1, Praha 1-Nové Město) of the National Museum that opens 4 October at 10 A.M.
I hope to follow up this post with some photos of Czech and American flag waving. To read about another important statue at this same station see Hugging a Statue.