City of Auburn releases statement on cemetery incident

Special to the news

Published: April 24, 2009

The recent incident regarding Confederate flags placed on graves at Pine Hill Cemetery is between private citizens of Auburn. The views and actions by participants in that incident in no way reflect the views or policies of the City of Auburn. The flags were placed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy on private graves to commemorate fallen Confederate soldiers for Confederate Memorial Day, which is an official state holiday. Their removal was not an action taken by the City of Auburn. I cannot condone the removal of private property from a privately owned grave site. The sanctity of the final resting place of one’s family or forefathers is certainly one of the most intensely private and sacred of things in our society.

The city recognizes that this is an issue between people of good conscience who have passionately held differences of belief. It is in the greatest tradition of American democracy that diverse citizens with differing views can peacefully and responsible express themselves.

I believe it would be in the best interest of all involved to settle their differences privately.

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