Editor, Commonwealth:

With the strides in race relations that have taken place during our lifetimes, no structure, symbol or flag should stand in the way of continuing that progress. Like most, I believe the Civil War was disastrous on many levels. I believe, however, that we as a community should utilize the Confederate monument on the Leflore County Courthouse lawn as a teaching moment for future generations.

The monument could stand as a reminder of the horrors of civil war. It could help provide a portion of our history alongside an interpretive center honoring the important contributions of African Americans during this era. I believe our entire community would support this type of initiative, which would unify our city instead of divide it. This display could very well become a significant tourist attraction to the region.

This monument is professionally ranked as one of the most artistic and beautifully crafted of all Civil War monuments. It has deep Greenwood roots. One of my ancestors modeled as the young girl on the statue, and the steering wheel of the Star of the West depicts a landmark in our hometown that is known internationally. I hope our Board of Supervisors has researched and considered all possibilities for the monument before we remove or destroy it.

Hiding it will not change history. Our community finding common ground, when others can’t, will.

Tommy Gary

(1) comment

Hal Fiore

OK, but it seems to have taken the Board voting to remove the monument to get members of this community talking about a common memorialization that can be supported by a majority. Now, I hope it is not too late. But we have to ask, Who are the leaders who will come together to make it happen? Who will raise the considerable funds needed to build anything that isn't completely dominated by the existing structure? Is the limited space on the courthouse lawn the optimum place for its placement? Are our civic, business, religious, and political leaders going to step forward?

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