BUTTE — Thirty-two documents make up the Exchange Club’s Freedom Shrine that members believe represents the best values of being an American.
“It touches my heart, it really does and I get emotional a lot of times when I talk about it and my passion for this country and how great it has been and how great it can be,” said Butte Exchange Club member Doug Rotondi.
The shrine is set up at the Bert Mooney Airport terminal for the public to view. It contains copies of historic documents and speeches at major turning points of this nation.
“I really like Martin Luther King’s speech. I mean, it’s touched my heart ever since I first heard it back in the 60s, and of course, the Preamble of the Constitution are definitely on the top of the list. As well as John F. Kennedy’s speech where he asked, ‘ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,’” said Rotondi.
Exchange Club President Debbie Todd said, “Americanism is one of the tenants of our club and this community is such a patriotic community that I think it’s an outstanding tribute not just to the club but the community as a whole.”
The Exchange Club hopes people visiting the airport will stop and visit the Freedom Shrine and look at the documents that reflect our higher ideals.
“What I hope it inspires with the people is unity within our country and tolerance of one another and our different ideas, which seems to have disappeared over the last several years,” said Rotondi.
The Exchange Club hopes to erect more shrines like this in Butte so people can appreciate the values they reflect.