Liberty doesn’t wear a thong.

There’s something odd about Liberty. She rarely smiles and she’s always carrying something – a heavy book, a lighted torch, an unwieldy bunch of branches. Can’t she lighten up? She’s free, after all. Why not change out of those heavy robes, throw away that gosh-awful hat, and have a picnic?

No can do. Liberty doesn’t have time for a day off. She’s got tons of responsibilities. Her to-do list is miles long. She must protect what’s important to her, kind of like a mom who has millions of kids. Unfortunately, many of those kids don’t think about her unless it’s July fourth. Jeez, no wonder Liberty isn’t smiling. The poor woman needs more love…and a spa day.

If you happen to spot Lady Liberty on the American half dollar coin, take a second look. She was designed by A. A. Weinman, a sculptor who etched Liberty as she walks toward the dawn of a new day. Liberty is draped in our nation’s flag and carries branches that symbolize civil and military glory. Why? Maybe Weinman understood the precious cost of liberty. When he was ten years old, he fled Germany to become an American. Years later, when he designed this coin, the land he chose to call home was about to declare war on the nation of his birth.

Did Weinman feel conflicted about America’s fight against Germany in World War I? I don’t know, but I do know he etched the majestic eagle that appears on the other side of this coin. Right below the eagle, Mr. Weinman put his initials (AW) for all to see. I think it would be fair to say that he put his stamp of approval on the good ol’ USA.

I have a feeling that whenever someone stands up for freedom like Mr. Weinman did, stern Lady Liberty bursts into a wide smile.

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To read more about the “Walking Liberty” coin, click here to visit the Wikipedia page.

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