A park got an new Confederate monument Sunday during a time when states across the country are pulling down their Confederate statues.
The “Unknown Alabama Confederate Soldiers” monument was put on private land at the Confederate Veterans Memorial Park, a park in Brantley, Ala. that honors fallen Confederate soldiers, reports NBC News.
The monument, surrounded by a black fence, features a tombstone emblazoned with “Unknown AL Soldier: Mother I have Been Found. I am home.” About 500 people showed up for the unveiling of the statue, including members of the Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, while others showed up dressed in Civil War gear.
“The thing is nowadays everyone wants to take the monuments down so we’re just glad that they’re down here doing this [ceremony],” said Vann Royal, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. “It’s to let people know that what our ancestors did was not in vain.”
Other states are tearing down their Confederate statues in light of an Aug. 12 white supremacist rally that resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman. Baltimore removed four of the city’s statues in the dead of night, while the University of Texas at Austin also tore down its statues.
A National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) representative expressed concern about raising up the monument, saying it brings back unpleasant memories for black people.
“The historical meaning, intent and outright disrespect noted in these Confederate symbols and monuments re-ignite the negative history and memories associated with them,” said Benard Simelton, the Alabama conference president for the NAACP.
Dave Coggins, the owner of the park, said the plans for the monument were started a year ago.
“This was planned several months ago,” Coggins said. “Matter of fact, the monument was ordered last year, and it’s taken this long to get it in the ground and ready to unveil.”
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