A Statue and New Park Names Suggested For Confederate Parks
March 20, 2013
by Michele Reese
(Memphis) Hoping to start a conversation on compromise, Memphis City Councilman Jim Strickland and Mayor A C Wharton are offering up their ideas on what to name the formerly confederate-themed parks.
“We need to get a compromise going and find a consensus that would satisfy everyone get it behind us and get it behind us and move on to more important issues,” Strickland said.
In a letter to the committee who will decide the parks names, the city leaders suggested calling the former Forrest Park, Civil War Park.
They even suggested adding a statue of Ulysees S Grant.
“A little known fact is General Grant was based in Memphis for much of the Civil War. Not many people know that. So a civil war park could educate the public on what happened in the Civil War in Memphis,” Strickland said.
The next suggestion is calling the former Confederate Park on Front Street the Battle of Memphis Park.
“We are going to add history marks to the parks to make it more historical and educational but not highlight certain fools or movements that others find offensive thats the nature of a compromise.”
But the Sons of the Confederacy are already voicing opposition the proposed names.
“Renaming the park is taking away history so that is not acceptable compromise,” Lee Millar said. “You are taking away from of a well known military genius of the war between the states and diluting that quite a bit. He should be remembered and the park should stay the way it is.”
He also added that he opposed the Battle of Memphis Park name as well, since he said the battle was fought in the water, and the park was named for confederate veterans who held reunions at that park.
He said the only compromise he would accept would be adding a new park.
The nine person committee who will name the three parks will meet on Friday.The committee was formed after the council voted to change the three parks names to temporary names.
The controversy sparked after the city removed a stone marker in Forrest Park.
The council also quicly changed the names before a proposed state law that would have prevented them from changing the parks names in the future.
Copyright © 2013, WREG