Madison Four Freedoms Park

In the heart of downtown Madison is the Four Freedoms Park. The park is a beautifully landscaped city-block area containing a large gazebo, and the Four Freedoms monument. This famous monument honors Colin P. Kelley, a former Madison County resident who was recognized as the first U. S. hero of World War II and who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery and valor in combat.

Madison is very fortunate to have a beautiful gem right in the middle of town. With stately, moss draped oak trees providing shade and respite on a warm day, Four Freedoms Park invites anyone passing by to stop and soak in the natural beauty. Among the oak trees and azaleas are several monuments that give a slice of Madison County history.

Most notable among these monuments is the one that gives the park its namesake; the Four Freedoms Monument located in the southwest corner of the park. The monument with its four angels depicting the four fundamental freedoms espoused by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his State of the Union speech on Jan. 6, 1941. The four freedoms Roosevelt spoke about were freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Following his speech, Roosevelt had the monument commissioned. Roosevelt felt that through the arts, a greater number of people could be inspired to appreciate the concept of the four freedoms.

The statue was created by sculptor Walter Russell later in 1941. It was dedicated in 1943 before a crowd of 60,000 in Madison Square Garden in New York City and was dedicated to Madison native, Colin P. Kelly, one of the first U.S. heroes of World War II. The monument was later moved to Madison and was re-dedicated on June 14, 1944. Florida Governor Spessard Holland was one of the featured speakers at that ceremony.

There are several other monuments to be found in Four Freedoms Park. These other monuments will be the subjects of future history stories.

Location:

US Highway 90 and North Range Street
Madison, FL 32340
(850) 973-2788