A new Confederate monument has been dedicated in Alabama, honoring “unknown Confederate soldiers” who died in the area during the Civil War. The monument’s unveiling comes at a time when activists are calling for their removal from the public square, but those behind the new marker insist this is about history, not racial politics.
The monument is in a park on private land in Crenshaw County, and was not erected with support or money from the government. It stands with other confederate displays, including a canon and flagpoles. There were also plenty of Confederate flags flying, but the man behind it all insists it is about heritage. “That’s why we’re here is to honor our Confederate dead, to honor our ancestors,” David Coggins, a Sons of Confederate Veterans member who owns the memorial park, said during the dedication this week, according to AL.com.
Those behind the monument insist the dedication was planned well in advance, before the recent protests and violence in Charlottesville.
A few hundred people attended the well-guarded ceremony, which was marked by Confederate paraphernalia and a five cannon salute at Confederate Veterans Memorial Park. Some attendees donned Confederate reenactment dress.
Cultural backlash against the Confederacy has heated up especially on the left after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent earlier this month, leaving one dead.
Protesters, including the violent group “Antifa” afterwards defaced and tore down several statues and monuments, including some of Christopher Columbus and Abraham Lincoln.
“Confederate symbols and monuments are offensive to far too many citizens, especially blacks/people of African descent,” the Alabama chapter of NAACP said in a letter to the Greenville Advocate.
However, the park’s owner David Coggins assured that those in attendance are not white supremacists but merely want to celebrate their heritage and honor the dead soldiers.
“Those people that forget their heritage … are doomed to repeat it again,” he said.
Here is a closeup of the new monument.
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