A few months ago we talked about the top things everyone knows or should know about the Cedar Valley, but what one thing makes our metro area unique?

Our area is home to America's #1 Waterpark, Lost Island, global agriculture giant, John Deere, arguably the greatest wrestler ever, Dan Gable, among many other things. We also have some distinctive landmarks around the Cedar Valley, like the iconic covered pedestrian walkway on the 4th Street bridge in downtown Waterloo. However, I've noticed, after living here all my life, things just start to blend into the landscape and go under-appreciated.

An example of that is, "Keki Me Si Metose Neniwa - We the People", (see photo above) the giant 29-by-72-foot mural is mounted on the East Park Avenue parking ramp. I drive down Lafayette Street almost daily and I barely notice it. But it's there, and if you take the time to look at it, it truly is impressive and something that should bring Waterloo pride.

Displaced by "Hurricane Katrina", New Orleans artist Richard C. Thomas lived here and created this work of art after researching the history and culture of Waterloo. The Waterloo Museum For The Arts is now home to the original painting that acknowledges the early presence of Native Americans, followed by the influx of immigrants including the more recent Bosnian and Hispanic populations. Originally, erected in 2007, the mural was replaced in 2015 after several years of Iowa's harsh weather taking its toll on the original canvas.

If living through this pandemic has taught us anything, it's to appreciate the "little things" in life, so the next time you're in downtown Waterloo, drive down Lafayette Street and take a moment to check out this homage to our heritage.

Does your hometown have something unique that you'd like everyone to know about? Send us a message on this station's app, or message us on our Facebook page.

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