SENECA FALLS — Anna Laymon was the executive director of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission when she and her staff began discussing ideas to honor the women’s rights activists of the past.
Laymon, who had visited Seneca Falls a few years before the commission’s creation, knew what she wanted to do. She wanted to build a statue that would stand in the birthplace of women’s rights.
On Friday, a dedication ceremony was held to unveil the “Ripples of Change” statue featuring four women — Laura Cornelius Kellogg, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman and Martha Coffin Wright. The statue stands on East Bayard Street in Seneca Falls.
The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, led by Laymon, partnered with the town of Seneca Falls and the Seneca Falls Development Corporation to place the statue at the site. The statue was designed by Jane DeDecker.
Laymon recalled her first visit to Seneca Falls and recognizing that she has “never been in a place where women’s stories are so elevated, are so uplifted,” she said.
“This place is so special,” she said.
The statue also helps to reverse a trend in the United States. As Laymon explained, only 8% of memorials, monuments and statues in the U.S. tell women’s stories.
It could go down as one of the major accomplishments of the commission, which was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote. The dedication ceremony featured several federal, state and local leaders, including U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who was the keynote speaker.