Jacksonville citizens speak on the idea of removing a Civil War monument

Jacksonville citizens speak on the idea of removing a Civil War monument
Jacksonville citizens speak on the idea of removing a Civil War monument (Source: WBRC)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The battle over a Civil War monument in Jacksonville’s town square, spilled over Monday night into the city council chambers.

A packed house came to hear arguments for, and against, moving the Confederate soldier monument from the town square.

The statue shows a bearded Confederate soldier holding his gun, his canteen, and his bag standing atop a ten foot pedestal.

A large group of young people backed up one woman who presented a petition of 13 hundred names in favor of removing the monument.

”A monument that honors some citizens at the expense of others, does not belong in a public space that purports to represent all. We would like to see it moved, to a place where it can be preserved and contextualized as a historical object should be,” said Jennifer Luck.

But others argued in favor of keeping it in its current location, saying it honors Jacksonville’s Civil War heroes.

”It was these men’s parents, brothers, sisters and wives, and children, who erected these monuments like the one in the square, in their memory,” said Glen Turk, who lives in Piedmont.

One man who came dressed as John Pelham, a Civil War hero buried in Jacksonville, expressed befuddlement at so many statues brought down or vandalized, suggesting the vandalization of the World War II monument in Washington, D.C. was part of the same movement.

Most of those who favored moving the monument were young, but one elderly woman said it only honored slavery and should be removed.

Council members did not speak in favor of or against the monument’s removal, but Mayor Johnny Smith did thank the people who came out to speak about it.

They’ve given no indication if or when they will vote on the matter. The monument, and some markers in Jacksonville’s cemetery, were recently vandalized with spray paint.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.