By Kevin Warneke
Flatwater Free Press 

Mini statues of liberty brought patriotism to towns across Nebraska, then Omaha's disappeared


January 31, 2024

Joseph Saaid | for the Flatwater Free Press

Omaha's Little Sister of Liberty was among at least 15 placed in Nebraska to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts of America. Omaha's statue stood in Turner Park for several decades, during which it received some rough treatment. For the past 30 years, it's been tucked away in storage in sculptor John Lajba's downtown Omaha studio.

John Lajba has grown accustomed to having Lady Liberty loom over him while he works in his downtown Omaha studio.

Still, the sculptor would rather see the weathered 9-foot copper statue depart his studio shelf – its home for the past 30 years – and placed back where it belongs.

"It's been ... out of sight and out of people's memories for too long," Lajba said.

He might get his wish.

Momentum appears to be building to restore and return the statue to its pedestal in Omaha's Turner Park, where it once was a target for vandals and mischief makers.

Dedicated in 1951, the statue was a gift from the...

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