Town Attorney To Give Opinion Regarding Exclusion Of Confederate Soldiers At Jonesborough Memorial

By Nate Morabito
Reporter / WJHL
Published: June 3, 2009

The Southern Legal Resource Center, a federal non-profit organization that advocates in matters involving Southern history and heritage, is now urging the Town of Jonesborough to change its stance and allow bricks honoring Confederate soldiers at its newly renovated veterans memorial. Wednesday, in a letter to Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe, the SLRC urged the town to change its stance, calling its exclusion of Confederate soldiers “blatant discrimination” and a violation of the civil rights of those veteran’s descendants. The SLRC is acting on behalf of local members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

When the town first created Veterans Park more than a decade ago, a veterans affairs committee agreed it would only be used to honor veterans who fought for the United States. The town does not consider the Confederacy to be part of the United States, so it will not allow Confederate bricks to be placed there.

Although Wolfe has not yet seen the letter, he tells us the town attorney will provide town leaders with an opinion regarding this matter Monday night.

“If we are in violation of the law in some way, we will correct what issue we have,“ Wolfe said. “We don’t have any desire to unfairly discriminate against anybody.“

Still, at this point, Wolfe says the town is unclear if it is in the wrong. Leaders should have a better idea Monday night.

“We haven’t had any problems in 10 years,“ Wolfe said. “The unfortunate thing about this debate, is I fear it may detract from all the good work and the good will that our recent renovation of our Veterans Park has created, and I don’t want to see that happen.“

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