Hundreds of people celebrated the installation of New Bedford's Fishermen's Tribute Monument in Tonneson Park on the city's waterfront Thursday evening. 

The project has been in the works by city officials and the Fishermen's Tribute Fund Committee for twelve years, headed by committee chairperson Deb Shrader.

During the ceremony, Mayor Jon Mitchell spoke of the important reminder the monument will serve to all who pass by.

"It is a reminder that when they go out, it may be their last trip," Mitchell said. "They may not allow themselves to ponder the implications of that reality but it is always there and it is always there for their families."

The bronze statue was created by local artist Erik Durant, who hopes it will stand the test of time just as the fishing industry has in the Whaling City for centuries.

"My goal is to make works that speak on their own and don't require someone to speak for them and I hope that everyone here today, tomorrow, ten years from now, a hundred years from now can glean something from the narrative that's being described here," said Durant.

That narrative is of a fishing family saying goodbye to their father and husband as he heads off to sea. It offers messages of passing on the tradition to the son, saying goodbye to the hugging daughter and the strength of the wives and mothers that stay behind and tend to the families.

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