PALM BEACH GARDENS (CBS12) A 76-year old veteran finds himself fighting a new battle. This one: to keep his human-sized Statue of Liberty.
Americus Wilson has lived at A Garden Walk mobile home community near Palm Beach Gardens, for the past 15 years.
This summer on the Fourth of July, Wilson set up a replica Statue of Liberty outside his screened enclosure.
“I know it’s sat in New York Harbor for over 100 years, representing what we’re supposed to stand for,” said Wilson, who added to him, the Statue represents freedom, and justice.
“A lot of the men and women died to give us the freedom we have today,” said Wilson. “She says a lot without saying a word.”
At one time, Wilson’s Statue of Liberty stood at a delicatessen, but more recently resided near his workplace.
“I admired the thing for quite a while, and I finally got the nerve to go ask him about, and he gave it to me,” Wilson explained.
“I’ve had several people stop, and come and look at it, and ask me if they can take pictures with it,” said Wilson.
But management at A Garden Walk, on a park-wide clean-up mission, just cited Wilson for several violations. Wilson showed us the paperwork.
At the top of the list: remove the statue.
“They said, ‘I know you like it, but it offends some people,’” Wilson recalled. “I couldn’t imagine anybody being offended by it.”
CBS12 stopped at the mobile home park office.
Two managers declined to go on camera, but did say all statues have to go. They said liability was a big concern.
A third manager told CBS12 to leave the property, which our crew did.
As for Wilson, he said he sees the removal order as another example of people’s rights being eroded.
“This is a small thing, but it just keeps going,” said Wilson. “And the more we let them get away with, the more they’re going to take.”
The paperwork indicates Wilson has a week to get rid of his Statue of Liberty.