Following the deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, and heated public debate over Confederate monuments and what they represent, cities around the country have begun taking down memorials to Confederate generals and soldiers. Brantley, Alabama, a tiny town about sixty miles south of Montgomery, has taken a step in the opposite direction.
The monument is on private land at the Confederate Veterans Memorial Park. People showed up for Sunday's ceremony in Civil War regalia, some waving Confederate flags. About ten members of the Three Percenters, a right-wing militia, wore fatigues and body armor "in case anything were to happen."
The thing is nowadays everyone wants to take the monuments down so we’re just glad that they’re down here doing this [ceremony]. It’s to let people know that what our ancestors did was not in vain.
Confederate soldiers' motives for participating in the Civil War may have been different, but what the Confederacy fought for — a fracturing of the union and continued slavery — was, in fact, an effort in vain.
Confederate symbols and monuments are offensive to far too many citizens, especially blacks/people of African descent. The historical meaning, intent and outright disrespect noted in these Confederate symbols and monuments re-ignite the negative history and memories associated with them.
Many people criticized the timing of the unveiling. David Coggins, owner and developer of the Confederate Veterans Memorial Park, told the Associated Press that the memorial was ordered a year ago.