Confederate memorial progressing as funds allow
By Jose D. Enriquez III
Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Along Interstate 10 in Orange, the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is making slow progress on a controversial memorial off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

The project’s completion date is unknown because the group is only building as funds allow, said Marshall Davis, Texas Division spokesman.

The project, which was granted permits for construction by the City of Orange, has met strong disapproval by residents and nearby residents, who cite insensitivity by the memorial’s organizers.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans group insists they weren’t trying to the stir the pot and in fact say the memorial will attract people to the region. Opponents argue it will strike fear and repulsion in people who drive along the interstate.

Orange City Manager Shawn Oubre said no formal discussions have taken place between the city and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. City Council had spoken in executive session about a possible purchase of the land, but the council hasn’t taken any other action on it.

In April, the city council voted unanimously to oppose construction of the memorial even though they had no legal alternative to approving its permits.

The council chambers was filled with more than 100 people who stood up to voice their continued distaste for the memorial, which will prominently display the Confederate battle flag.

Davis said in April that to help appease the anger, the organization offered to erect a Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in the plaza, but the NAACP Orange branch rejected it.

"We find that disappointing, because Dr. King said that he hoped one day ‘the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood,’" Davis said in April.

© 2014 Hearst Newspapers II, LLC

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