On Monday, outgoing President Donald Trump issued two executive orders, one of which establishes the “National Garden of American heroes”, which will feature statues of many historical figures, including Kobe Bryant. Trump introduced the idea of building a monument dedicated to American heroes in July.
The executive order reads: “The National Garden will feature a roll call of heroes who deserve honor, recognition, and lasting tribute because of the battles they won, the ideas they championed, the diseases they cured, the lives they saved, the heights they achieved, and the hope they passed down to all of us – that united as one American people trusting in God, there is no challenge that cannot be overcome and no dream that is beyond our reach.”
“In short, each individual has been chosen for embodying the American spirit of daring and defiance, excellence and adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love. Astounding the world by the sheer power of their example, each one of them has contributed indispensably to America’s noble history, the best chapters of which are still to come.”
The location of the park, size of the statue and what image of Bryant it will be based on is still undetermined. Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, is yet to publicly comment on the statue.
It is already known that the Los Angeles Lakers will give the late Kobe Bryant a statue outside Staples Center one day. Long before his catastrophic and untimely death almost a year ago, Lakers governor Jeanie Buss had said as much. “Certainly someday there will be a statue as well,” said Buss in 2017, when talking about Bryant’s then-upcoming jersey retirement ceremony.
Other than Bryant, boxing great Muhammad Ali is also among the athletes who will receive a statue in the Garden. Other than them, Roberto Clemente, Vince Lombardi, Babe Ruth, Jesse Owens, Cy Young amid numerous others will be immortalized at this National Garden. The list does not feature any women athletes.