A crowd of what could have easily been over 100 people gathered under a gloomy sky Thursday to watch the unveiling of two new lions on the east side of the Bridge of Lions.
Siblings to Firm and Faithful, the new lions in Davis Park were commissioned and donated by St. Augustine residents Wolfgang and Miki Schau.
The couple stood close to the stage Regan spoke from as he thanked the Schaus for all they have done.
“The beauty will last for years and years,” Regan said.
After words from Wolfgang and St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver, the red plastic covering was removed revealing two handcrafted granite lions.
A loud applause followed as children climbed their guardians in hopes to touch the detail of the new statues.
Shaver and other officials helped remove the lion’s covering.
“There’s really little to say when you’re presented with a gift like this because it takes your breath away,” she said. “There’s really nothing to say other than thank you.”
In return, Shaver said the city gives its heart to the Schaus.
Introducing the lions, Wolfgang told the story of he and his wife’s first trip to St. Augustine where they fell in love with the city’s skyline and the Bridge of Lions.
“This is our love story and today, I have to admit, this is the second most important day of my life,” Wolfgang said.
The first was the day he confessed his love to his wife.
Not only did Wolfgang say the Bridge of Lions was the most beautiful bridge in the nation, he hailed it as the most beautiful bridge in the world.
“As we passed through the bridge, both of our lives were changed,” he said.
Unlike the lions at the west end of the bridge, the new ones have yet to be named.
“It’s not really our job to name them,” Wolfgang said.
They only suggest the names be Pax and Peli.
Pax is defined in Latin as peace. Wolfgang said it symbolizes the hope that all people of all colors in St. Augustine can live together in the city in peace.
“What makes St. Augustine, St. Augustine is the people,” he said. “All of you. All of you. You make St. Augustine such a wonderful city.”
The Latin language defines Peli as happiness.
This name was suggested by Miki. Wolfgang said happiness is what they experience living in St. Augustine.
A time capsule was placed in the lions before the unveiling with the hope that 50 years from now, the history of that day would be remembered.
Inside the capsules are citizen’s letters to loved ones, 450th elements and documents that Regan said really spell out the spirit of the 450th.
A public archive will be created to request the capsules are unveiled during the city’s 500th anniversary.