BUTTE – Moving an 800-pound statue is no easy task, but the crew was able to get this historic Butte statue of a World War II soldier off his feet and move him into a warmer location.
“He’s had a lot of cold winters out here and he deserves to be honored inside our courthouse,” said Eileen Greb of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 6.
The sculpture, called the Jungle Fighter, was erected in 1943 to honor those fighting in World War II. It stood near Butte High School, moved later to Stodden Park, before relocating on the front steps of the Butte Courthouse about 18 years ago.
The statue is being moved to protect it from further damage from the elements and the city needs room to make repairs to the courthouse steps.
“This year we’ve got the budget authority to replace the steps in front of the courthouse, pull them out fix the base underneath, replace the granite steps and first the top landing of the steps, so it’s the perfect time to do everything all at once,” said Butte Chief Executive Dave Palmer.
Markovich Construction agreed to move the statue free of charge to the city. Now that the statue has been moved, the city will also reopen its front revolving door.
“The plan is to repair all the doors, the revolving door and the two end ones, have them recovered in new copper and get them in working order,” Palmer said.
The crew from Markovich Construction finally got the big guy back on his feet and for veteran’s groups, this is more than just a cool statue. It represents the sacrifices that young Butte men made during World War II.
“He represented the high school kids that went into World War II and saved our nation, and he represents the people who didn’t come back,” Greb said.
Preserving their memory.
Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News