From: northcarolinasouth <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, Feb 20, 2013
Subject: [NCSouth] Rockingham County (NC) Supports Monument
The Rockingham County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday night in support of returning the Rockingham County Confederate Monument to the intersection of Scales Street and Morehead Street in downtown Reidsville NC. Complete details follow from the Greensboro (NC) News & Record.
The Rockingham County Commissioners agreed that the City of Reidsville did not follow due process when it removed the monument from public property and gave it to the North Carolina Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy (NCUDC). The Commissioners also agreed that the City probably violated open meetings laws when it decided to do that.
This vote by the County Commissioners came in the wake of shocking revelations by Aileen Ezell, former president of the NCUDC, that she knew there was no evidence that the NCUDC owned the monument when the NCUDC accepted $105,000 in insurance proceeds for the monument.
Despite this favorable resolution from the County Commissioners, the court battle to force the City of Reidsville to return the monument to public property continues. You can help by donating to the legal fund of HPAC at P.O. Box 684, Reidsville NC 27323.
ROCKINGHAM BOARD BACKS CONFEDERATE STATUE
2013-02-19T15:27:10 Tuesday, February 19, 2013
WENTWORTH — A near-capacity crowd gave overwhelming support to Rockingham County commissioners as they passed a resolution calling for the restoration of a statue depicting a Confederate soldier.
Supporters of replacing the statue argued that the monument is a veterans’ monument.
"Six hundred one Confederate soldiers from Rockingham County died (in the Civil War)," said Diane Parnell, the vice president of the Historic Preservation Action Committee. "That monument was put up for them. A terrible wrong has been done to them."Continue Reading
Parnell was among about 80 residents who attended the Rockingham County commissioners meeting Monday night. The group heavily favored replacing the statue where it stood before it was knocked down in a traffic accident.
The monument had stood in the center of the traffic circle at Morehead and Scales streets in Reidsville since 1910. But in 2011, a Greensboro motorist knocked it down accidentally.
The incident caused controversy about whether it should be replaced.
The city determined the statue belonged to the North Carolina division of United Daughters of the Confederacy. The group collected $105,000 from insurance and decided to replace it in a less-visible location, a city-owned cemetery for Confederate soldiers.
"Not all history’s pretty," said Robert Jernigan. "Not all history’s good. We are who we are because of history. People are asking that you preserve what is ours so we do not forget where we came from."
Several speakers referred to a report in the Reidsville Review that said the UDC did not offer to replace the monument in a new location but was told to by Michael Pearce, Reidsville’s city manager.
After a court approved replacing the monument, vandals spray-painted the words "Monument is coming back" on an auto body shop run by an African American businessman who outspokenly opposed returning the statue to its original spot.
Commissioner Keith Duncan floated a suggestion that the replacement statue be added to a Confederate monument near the county office. Members of the audience said that it would not be the same.
"You need to know where you’ve been to measure if you’re going in the right direction," said Commissioner Zane Cardwell. "These people fought and died for your rights and everybody’s rights."
Commissioner Craig Travis suggested that city officials violated the open meetings law when they talked to UDC members about moving the statue.
"We’re talking about a City Council that’s run amok," he said. "If you don’t like what they do, vote them out. The cities need to be held accountable."
He said that "any attempt to alter, or modify, or deny the existence of the past" is an attempt to deny the history of county residents. In the end, Travis said, the county can’t force Reidsville to take its advice.
"You think the city of Reidsville wants that resolution?" Travis said. "It don’t mean nothing to them."
The commission unanimously passed a motion supporting the return of the monument to its original location. The motion is not legally binding on the city of Reidsville.
Contact Joe Gamm at 373-7090 and @josephgamm on Twitter.