Voice of the people: William Hairston

 

 

 

Raises concerns about monument in cemetery

 

I own a plot in Friendship Cemetery. When I talk about the Confederate memorial monument now on the Courthouse lawn being placed there, it's because I have a stake in it.

 

For two reasons, placing the monument in Friendship is a bad idea. Its size is one problem. It is very tall and will loom over the whole cemetery, visible anywhere you have a clear line of sight. Furthermore, it is way out of proportion to the many smaller monuments, the family grave markers. Someone who can authoritatively advise on this problem, an artist, an architect, an expert from Archives and History, should be consulted before this thing is put there. Otherwise we might have an aesthetic disaster.

 

 

The second problem is the legend that the image of a Ku Klux Klansman is carved on the back of the topmost soldier figure. Even if this is verified to be false by qualified experts, people will believe it anyway. The stigma will remain with the statue and attach to the cemetery.

 

Furthermore, recalling that the reason for removing the monument from the Courthouse is its racially divisive nature, this cemetery is set in an African-American neighborhood. How are they to feel about a huge Confederate monument and a Klansman placed in their midst?

 

Everything about this entire monument is antithetical to the name Friendship Cemetery. I do not want it looking down on my family and friends.

 

William Hairston

 

Lamar County, Alabama

 

 

 

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