President Obama took time out of his schedule Wednesday to help unveil a new statue of civil rights activist Rosa Parks at the Capitol building in Washington. Parks, who died in 2005, is the first black woman to be honored with a life-size likeness in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.
The bronze statue, by Robert Firmin and Eugene Daub, depicts Parks seated with her hands on her lap holding a purse. In 1955, Parks refused to move from her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Ala. Her subsequent arrest turned her into a symbol for the civil rights movement.
At Wednesday's ceremony, Obama spoke to an audience that included members of Congress and veteran civil rights leaders. Also in attendance were members of Parks' family.
"We do well by placing a statue of her here," Obama said, according to the Associated Press. "But we can do no greater honor to her memory than to carry forward the power of her principle and a courage born of conviction."
The statue weighs an estimated 2,700 pounds and is approximately 9 feet tall.
Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was the driving force behind the bill to create the Parks statue.
The former Illinois representative has recently admitted to misusing campaign funds and faces sentencing later this year. He stepped down from the House of Representatives in November.
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