HURRICANE – Community members gathered on Saturday morning to celebrate the official inauguration ceremony for the future home of Liberty Village.
Inspired by the American Village of Montevallo, Alabama, Liberty Village will feature authentic colonial-era buildings where children and young people can step back in time. Teachers portraying the roles of famous American historical figures like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Abigail Adams will help raise awareness of patriotism and teach American history to young people.
During the ceremony, media personality, historian, artifact collector and author Glenn Beck was asked to make some off-the-cuff remarks
“I am overwhelmed by the importance of this project,” Beck said. “And as I was driving, I thought about how the storm is coming. And there has to be a place where it’s calm and peaceful and kind and gentle and represents all of our values and principles.
“How fitting to be – and I know I’m pronouncing it intentionally wrong – in Hurricane,” he added. “Let this be the eye of the hurricane and bring peace, sweetness and wisdom.”
Right now, Liberty Village is a dream, a patch of windswept, arid farmland in the former Bench Lake area of Hurricane. But oorganizers, dignitaries and supporters want it to become a reality in 2026.
“So easy to support this effort,” Hurricane Mayor Nanette Billings told St. George News during the ceremony. “I loved the commentary when Glenn Beck said, ‘Make it the eye of (the) hurricane.’ This is exactly what we need.
Billings said it’s important to recognizenize that people will come to Hurricane, and Liberty Village will offer insight into community values.
“They’re going to see the freedom, family and faith that come when they visit this holy place,” Billings said. “It will absolutely be an amazing place to have this Liberty Village in Hurricane.”
As previously reported in St. George News, endurance athlete Tom Jones ran from Montevallo, Alabama, to Hurricane in a series of 76 marathons to help raise awareness of Liberty Village and promote patriotism.
The series was called the V2V Marathons, like from village to village, from Alabama to Hurricane.
The finish line for his last race in the series was at the groundbreaking ceremony and he briefly addressed the crowd.
“It’s been quite a trip,” Jones said. “The day after tomorrow, I will have run 347 marathons in my life for nonprofits and worthy causes. And I can tell you that the 76 (the V2V marathons) are for me the most important of all.
Jones told St. George News on Thursday that when United We Pledge chairman Dennis Leavitt approached him about the Liberty Village project, he was all for it.
“United We Pledge’s core values of freedom, family, faith and being a good citizen abiding by constitutional laws really resonated with me,” Jones said. “Being a former Marine and touring the world, I’ve seen firsthand what it’s like for people and countries to not have the freedom and liberties we were given when we were born here.”
But before it all started, Jones said he had a question for United We Pledge founder Lex Howard.
“I asked him, ‘Are you interested in doing this, or are you committed? “, Jones said. “In my experience, if you are interested in something, you will find every reason to quit. But if you commit to it, you will stop at nothing to do it.
Jones added that Howard looked him in the eye and said, “I’m engaged.”
“They really stepped in and stepped up,” Jones said. “I’ll tell you what, running 76 marathons in a row takes that kind of commitment. I wanted a partner who has that level of commitment. We would all leave a legacy for future generations.
Howard was emcee on Saturday. Leavitt addressed the crowd, as did Balance of Nature founder Dr. Douglas Howard, who provided the land for Liberty Village.
The sons and daughters of the American Revolution were on hand, with the SAR Color Guard unit presenting the colors.
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