The Protection of Confederate Monuments in McCracken County, KY
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We the undersigned residents of the county of McCracken, in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, submit that the time has come to voice our concerns that a previously filed petition, or any future petition, does not sway our duly elected officials in the Western region of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and in particular the county of McCracken, inclusive of the city of Paducah and its surrounding areas, to unreasonably act on eliminating our history, including the elimination of any Confederate statues, monuments or the modification of any school names therein. They must remain in place. They are a representation of our past and a reminder to the fallen of the Grey. The statutes themselves are NOT a representation of slavery and racial oppression. Instead, they are historical artifacts of generations gone-by, generations present, and generations yet to come. It is our assertion that these statues serve as a reminder to the citizens of McCracken County and the city of Paducah and the surrounding areas, of a time when our democracy was at a low point in history, and they serve to remind us of times that we hope to never repeat. They help us to understand the historic disagreements that Americans had, provide us with a real and retelling stance of history when Americans were allowed to, under the Constitution of the United States, partake in activities that are no longer a reflection of the values of America today. These statues have absolutely nothing to do with empowering racial or white nationalist tendencies. Rather, they are a reminder to us all that America was once very divided, and she could be again if we are not constantly reminded of our past. Our children should always be reminded of such times when America was deeply divided, and they must be able to tell their children, and their children’s children of such division. As horrific as those events were, one’s decry for the elimination of our historic statues and monuments should not be used as a rally call to destroy them or our history. Confederate soldiers, to whom most of these memorials are dedicated, were considered to be Veterans of war by an Act of Congress (i.e. Public LAW 85-426-MAY 23, 1958), thus allowing them the same privilege of being honored as any other war veteran. We should carry a flag of unity with respect to our federal lawmakers and their decisions. We thus appeal and petition the Commissioners of McCracken County, and the Mayor and City Commission of Paducah, that should the previous petition entitled 'The Removal and Replacement of Confederate Monuments in Paducah, KY' be considered or acted upon, that you immediately outline and commit to the timely and definite declination of said petition which decries elimination of our sacred statues and monuments, and that by such declination, you commit to not acting on the activity therein defined. The General Lloyd Tilghman statue should remain in Fountain Square. The renaming of the Paducah Tilghman High School should not occur. In addition, we appeal and petition that any dedication, statue, monument, school name or any item considered to be representative to the Confederate cause, not be eradicated, and specifically because they are on publicly funded land, the People’s land. We also appeal for a commitment by the County and the City for the continuation of tax payer funding to maintain these statues, monuments and schools, and in addition, to take a pro-active measure of closely monitoring these artifacts so that our history is not denigrated by mischievous naysayers, as was evidenced and witnessed in situations such as Charlottesville, Virginia and Durham, North Carolina. We, the undersigned, request your consideration and timely response to this petition.
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