FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor gave these remarks July 13 prior to the unveiling of the statue.
By Annie Laurie Gaylor
We are delighted to be here in Dayton, Tenn. It's been a lifelong ambition to visit Dayton, to enjoy the Scopes Trial Play and Festival.
We're here to celebrate the unveiling of the "missing link" at the Rhea County Courthouse — a magnificent artistic achievement, Zenos Frudakis' creation of a statue commemorating a great civil libertarian, Clarence Darrow, and in particular, his defense of John Scopes and evolution in "the trial of the century."
We join together with the citizens of Dayton and Rhea County in celebration of the history made here in 1925. We thank the Rhea County Historical and Genealogical Society for all its efforts in support of this landmark.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation thanks our members around the country for the financial support making possible our role in underwriting this artistic and historic project. We've been delighted to work with a brilliant sculptor in making a gift to Rhea County, to history and to posterity.
This is a permanent tribute that will not only enhance tourism but will balance history. While we bequeath it to Rhea County, it is actually a gift to the nation — to Americans from across the country who every year make a pilgrimage to witness this historic spot, to reflect, study and debate.
What Clarence Darrow stood for at the Scopes Trial is as timely and imperative today as in 1925. Clarence Darrow knew that we live on in memory, words and deeds. In the world of civil liberty advocacy, science and freethought, Clarence Darrow is truly an immortal.
Clarence Darrow believed, "You can only protect your liberties" in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free," Darrow noted.
Darrow realized that science education, the use of reason in our social policy and freedom of conscience are essential to human progress and survival.