Downtown Great Bend changed forever Saturday night, a change that will be seen in broad daylight as well as when the sun sets.
The 12-year voyage that was the effort to bring the Jack Kilby statues to the community ended in the lighting ceremony. The spotlights slowly came up and cast their subtile, stage-like glow on the three massive looming bronzes. It was truly a sight to behold.
Great Bend can be proud of this new centerpiece. I honors a great man with ties to our community. Kilby, a Great Bend High School grad, helped make the world-changing microchip a reality. That chip lead to many of the electronic devices used to make the ceremony and the media coverage of it possible.
But, more importantly, the installation honors the stalwart efforts of those with the vision to make it a reality. The foresight of long-time Kilby friend and local promoter Glen Opie and local veteran artist Chet Cale are among the host of individuals who brought Kilby to life Saturday.
The festivities lasted from dusk to dark as family and friends of Kilby, as well as other dignitaries extolled the accomplishments of the inventor. But, those attending the event said it was worth every minute. After all, something like this comes around only once in a lifetime. They were part of history in the making.
The piece includes three statues. Kilby is seen passing the torch of technology to young boy, symbolic of it being passed from one generation to the next. A younger girl represents the third generation who eagerly awaits her turn.
Entitled “The Gift” shows the connection of the past, present and future. It is indeed a gift to us all.