Write on... : Of monuments and men

【明報專訊】A person doesn't have to look hard to find one, they're in nearly every park and in front of almost all municipal buildings. I'm talking about monuments, and if it's not a statue it might be a plaque on a wall or a brass plate set in the ground. There are statues of kings, queens and celebrated lords; of bold and noble warriors; of public leaders and of prominent politicians. From time to time you'll find a monument paying homage to a famous scientist, such as to Sir Alexander Fleming who discovered penicillin (盤尼西林). Or to an inventor like Alexander Graham Bell who gave us the telephone. They come in all shapes and all sizes, and if you're passing through Chester, Illinois in the United States, don't be surprised when you come upon the statues of Popeye and the forever lovely Miss Olive Oyl. They're there because the cartoonist E. C. Segar once called Chester his home. In his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Charles Schultz is honoured with statues of his cartoon characters. In a park, you can see representations of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Woodstock, Pig-Pen... the entire Peanuts gang.