CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas - In a 4-1 vote, Caldwell County commissioners decided to remove the Confederate soldiers’ monument, which has been on the courthouse lawn since 1923.
“We have never had a place in America. This is a great start for America to heal,” said Margaret Carter, county resident and director of “Where We Thrive.”
Carter grew up in Caldwell County and recalls how she felt seeing that monument downtown. “As long as that statue stayed present we knew we were not welcome downtown,” she said.
She spoke at Tuesday's commissioners' court meeting, advocating for the removal of the monument in order for the county and the country to heal. Carter is asking the county to keep it covered while it sits in limbo.
“If you want to honor your heroes they should be in a museum. You can go visit it and tell your children about the history of it,” she said.
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The decision was met with some opposition. Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans were in attendance. They said the monument honors soldiers and should be kept on the lawn.
“Even though they admitted it's a soldiers’ memorial, they are putting all that aside to cave in to the popular sentiment of this particular time in our history. We think that is shortsighted and wrong,” said Shelby K. Little with the group.
“The fact they are using dead soldiers as an excuse to promote white supremacy in public...even if I were a descendant of a Confederate veteran, I wouldn’t want that monument there either,” said county resident Cody Kimbell.
The county will place the monument in the nearby Caldwell County Museum. Little is hoping commissioners can change that decision.
“As this process goes along we hope at some point they will reconsider what they have done,” said Little.