Memory  /  First Person

Confederate or Not, Which Monuments Should Stay or Go? We Asked, You Answered.

We asked about monuments in your home town. Here's what you said.

After New Orleans removed four public monuments depicting Confederate leaders and events in May, we asked you, Washington Post readers, to tell us about the dedicated statues, parks and streets near you. You told us about monuments that should come down, and ones that deserve to stay. And some of you made the case for new memorials. We’ve included some of your submissions below. To submit an opinion about a monument near you, click here.

Louisville decided to remove a 70-foot statue honoring Confederate dead. Brandenburg, Ky., population 2,000 and more than 90 percent white, obtained and erected it this year. The town held a ceremony in celebration on Memorial Day. Most view the statue as history, art or honoring veterans. My view: The statue is inappropriate, as Kentucky officially declared neutrality during the Civil War (although that neutrality was later violated). Confederates pillaged the area, and there are no statues honoring veterans or those who fought for the Union, or the United States. More appropriate would be a memorial for those who fought for the Union or the United States at any time, or the Underground Railroad.
—Barbara Knupp, 63, Webster, Ky.

In the capitol square of Raleigh, N.C., there are 14 statues and monuments, and five of them commemorate the Confederacy and its leaders: more than a third of them, memorializing only four years of North Carolina’s three-century history. Much like our legislature itself, this is not representative of who we are as a state. They stand in stark contrast to a historical marker a few blocks away, which I feel represents the right way to remember the darker moments of our history. The marker notes the former location of the North Carolina Eugenics Board and explains that “State action led to the sterilization by choice or coercion of over 7,600 people” — an honest, open assessment of our past misdeeds.
—Brendan Dillon, 36, Raleigh, N.C.

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