As tour leader Terry Cordaro walks through Washington, DC, she does her best to explain to visitors from around the world the importance and significance of the monuments that are an essential part of this city’s identity. Cordaro doesn’t see much statues honoring women in this citadel of democracy.
Cordaro is a US tour guide who has been guiding people around the Capitol for more than 20 years.
Cordaro said “Buildings here, in the city, would be liveless without these statues,” as he stood near a Jane Delano statue outside Red Cross headquarters.
Jane Delano, a statue dedicated to women in Washington, DC, is one of few. Delano Roosevelt’s cousin, Delano is credited for creating the American Red Cross Nursing Unit.
Cordaro explained that Delano wore a cloak to signify her presence as a welcome presence for those in need.
The 44 memorials that the National Parks Service maintains in DC are not specifically designed for women. This makes Jane Delano’s statue all the more significant.
It is a representation of the past society. It was the old way. Women had a quieter role. Cordaro said that women were not given the opportunity to speak up. “We have to tell the story as it really is. We “We have to set good role models for young girls and young men, show them that these women are leaders too. Respect them and their traditions are important.
The story is similar across the country. An estimated 5,100 statues are found in the country. Only 394 of these statues are female.
Minnesota Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar is working to change that.
Klobuchar explained that the issue is about women leading and those who have been overlooked.
In rare and multi-faceted action, Senator Klobuchar has introduced a bill calling for monuments in the Capitol to Ruth Bader Bader Ginsburg, Sandra Day O’Connor, and other women. The bill is specific to the Capitol. However, Senator Klobuchar hopes the bill will inspire conversations in rural areas about creating more monuments and statues to honor women.
“We need to set the tone for the country, and I believe people will be able to see the value in this. He added, “Imagine the thoughts of the little girls who visit the Capitol.”
The bill has been supported by more than 20 senators including a dozen Democrats, three Republicans and more than a dozen Democrats. In the weeks ahead, the legislation will be presented to the House of Representatives.
Klobuchar stated, “There is every reason we believe we’ll add more of these images but we’d best get started because there’s a lot of history we need to make up.”