The Armed Forces History Museum celebrated its 8th anniversary last night with a VIP reception unveiling its newest addition – a SYMBOLS OF AMERICA sculpture created by St. Petersburg resident, Robert Maiden. The sculpture was revealed by Robert and Congressman David Jolly. But this is no ordinary sculpture.

Guests commented that the sculpture is most worthy of being featured in either the Smithsonian or even the White House.  The remarkable sculpture is 10’ tall, 5’ wide, 5’ deep, weighs over 850 pounds, is made of solid stainless steel and was created over the course of 8 years.  SYMBOLS OF AMERICA features 9 important symbols including the current American flag, the lyrics to the national anthem, the preamble to the Constitution, the bicentennial flag, the liberty bell, wings on the bell representing freedom, an American bald eagle, olive branches signifying America embracing peace, and 13 arrows denoting the 13 colonies.

As a proud American, Robert Douglas Maiden is a Dayton, Ohio native and currently resides in St. Petersburg.  He dreamt of building something patriotic and meaningful that could be recognized by the general public and act as an inspiration to children.  He began thinking of different symbols that represented America.  His thoughts and visions continued daily until he realized that rather than usiSculpture Eagleng one symbol as a representation of America, he would showcase 9.

There were no sketches whatsoever. Instead, he went with visions and revelations in his mind. With that, his 8 year journey began.

Upon concluding what the sculpture would be, he realized that it was something he must do.  He was employed at a metal shop at the time and approached management looking for support.  He was disappointed to learn that they turned down his request as they were unable to visualize his dream.  Although he understood, this dream would not leave him alone.

A few months later, he approached management again, and said he would pay for all the costs himself and would work on his own time.  He told them that if they couldn’t come to an agreement, he would resign from his position.  Two weeks later, management agreed to let him build it on his own time.

For 8 years, Robert worked on the sculpture daily during his lunch hour and two, 15 minute breaks.  In the beginning, many laughed in disbelief that he would be able to build it, much less complete it.  But he did.  Robert concluded by saying, “I finished my dream.  I hope to inspire others to never give up their goals and dreams. Anything is possible if you just stay with it.”  Every single piece on this intricate sculpture was painstakingly made and created by hand – including all letters and fine detail.

Robert said that his first dream came true by completing SYMBOLS OF AMERICA.  His second dream was to find a home where others could enjoy it and be inspired by it. The Armed Forces History Museum is proud and honored to feature such a breathtaking piece of art, which now stands as a pinnacle of America and the American dream.

Robert is available for interviews and the sculpture is accessible to photogs and TV crews by contacting Cindy Dion at 727.539.8371 ext. 106 or [email protected].

In celebration of the museum’s 8th anniversary, $8 admission tickets will be offered through Sunday, August 21st.


 Feature image: Robert Maiden stands beside his stainless steel creation, SYMBOLS OF AMERICA, now on display at the Armed Forces History Museum

 Robert Maiden’s SYMBOLS OF AMERICA features an American bald eagle, the liberty bell as well as other patriotic symbols, now on display at the Armed Forces History Museum