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A monumental decision about some Louisiana Confederate statues Featured

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confederate caddoby Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net

    After nine months of being tasked by the Caddo Commission to come up with a recommendation concerning the Confederate Monument on the Courthouse grounds, the Citizens Advisory Committee has finally delivered.
    The recommendation came after hours of listening to comments from citizens at public meetings and two failed attempts of reaching a decision because of absent members.

    The recommendation:  Allow the monument to remain in place on the Courthouse grounds.  But a plaque and two monuments honoring the Civil Rights Movement and Reconstruction would  be added in the same vicinity.
    The recommendation proposal to move the monument to another location failed on a 5-4 vote. Voting no were committee members Gary Joiner, Jackie Nichols, Charles McMichael, John Andrew Prime, and Joanne Sigler.
    Here is the committee’s recommendation:
    1. That the Caddo Parish Confederate Monument should remain in its current historical place in perpetuity and on the National Register of Historic Places and there should be no further discussion regarding altering or moving it. 
    A.    The monument represents a crucial part of the Parish’s history.
    B. The monument itself is of important  historical and artistic stature.
    C.  The site of the monument is in proper context.
    D. Moving of the monument is cost prohibitive.
    E.  Moving the monument would likely result in extensive damage to the Monument and possibly the grounds of the courthouse.
    2. That it was the intention of the previous  parish governing body, the Caddo Parish Police Jury, in its June 3rd and June 18th, 1903 meeting minutes, that the confederate monument association of Shreveport Chapter 237 United Daughters of the Confederacy, be given the front plat of courthouse square as a site for the monument.
    3.  The sub-committee feels that it is important that our parish follow a principle of preserving authentic historic sites that are part of our cultural heritage.  The parish should make a better effort to offer an “additive” instead of a “subtractive” approach to interpreting our parish’s history and experience of all of its citizens during the Civil War.  This memorial monument represents an important thread in our ongoing local, state, and national history, and we must understand it by studying it as part of a complex story. Offer fuller and wider viewpoints, but not omit or remove those with which one disagrees. Accepting the existence of monuments of prior generations, their priorities, mistakes, and their choices need not and does not equate with celebration or agreement.
    4. The committee highly values any move to continue to commemorate Caddo Parish history. Therefore we recommend the erecting of two new monuments on the courthouse grounds, flanking and complementing the existing monument.  One of the new monuments shall commemorate the period that followed the Civil War, popularly known as Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, from 1865 to 1890. The other monument shall commemorate Caddo Parish’s place in, and contributions to, the Civil Rights movement, from 1890 to the 1970s.
    A. The Caddo Parish Commission should appoint a committee to oversee this endeavor and to solicit designs, hopefully on a national, competitive basis, to engender popular sentiment toward the constructive nature of the parish’s approach.
    B.This committee shall recommend to the Commission the placement of the new monuments.
    C.  This committee should propose designs for the new monuments for the approval of the Commission.
    D. The Commission shall provide startup money for this project to be determined by the Commission.
    E.  The committee shall undertake to raise the remaining funds from other sources.
    5.  In order for these recommendations to be workable and sustainable, the Committee recommends:
    A.  Regardless of outstanding legal questions, the Caddo Parish Commission reserves the area of placement of both the Caddo Parish Confederate Monument and the new monuments be reserved for their stated use in perpetuity.
    6.  The committee recommends that this report be voted on “in total”, and not by an item-by-item measure.
    The recommendation passed on a 5-3 vote and now goes to the Caddo Commission’s Long Range Planning Committee.  It is non-binding, and the final vote is up to the commissioners.

Read 2085 times Last modified on Friday, 08 September 2017 17:02
Lou Gehrig Burnett

Lou Gehrig Burnett is the publisher of Fax-Net, a North-Louisiana newsletter.

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