Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission recommends removing Confederate monument

Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission recommends removing Confederate monument
The Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission has recommended the removal of the Confederate monument at Iver’s Square. (Source: KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission has recommended the removal of the Confederate monument at Iver’s Square.

The monument was established in 1931 by the Daughters of the Confederacy, 66 years after the end of the Civil War.

It was moved to the current location in the 1990s.

The HPC voted for the prompt removal and storage of the monument.

They recommend holding the monument until a new home that would contextualize the meaning of the monument can be found.

Earlier this month, a local activist collected more than 1,100 signatures on a petition to remove the monument.

The City Council is expected to discuss the possible removal on July 6.

Molly Mehner, deputy city manager, said the City is open to hearing arguments for and against the removal.

“Their recommendation was for immediate removal to storage, until such time that we can find an entity to take the statue with the agreement that they would properly contextualize the meaning of the monument,” said Mehner.

Some locals had strong feelings toward the recommendation.

Local, Erin Jones, said if the City decides to take down the Confederate monument, they must also remove the statue of the black soldier as well.

“I started the petition the opposes the removal of this monument, because I feel that it is critical for City Administrators and others who have our ear, and can listen to our voice to understand that we do not want our history taken from the public square,” said Jones.

Jones also stated that all monuments should be treated equally.

“To select one is to selectively sensor viewpoints and to selectively sensor individuals. And that is not the way that we do things,” Jones continued.

A member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Organization, Clint Lacy, also spoke out.

“If I had one message to give to the Historic Preservation Society here in town it would be, ‘What are you thinking? Because it’s in your name, Historic Preservation, and you’re calling to tear this down. That’s not preserving',” said Lacy.

Lacy stated keeping the monument in its current place would be standing up for the history of the city.

“This is your chance to make a stand and put a stop to this because I promise you all, if you don’t stand up and do the right thing, all of these statutes are going to come down,” said Lacy.

City Officials recommend you email your city representative or attend the city meeting on July 6 to voice your opinion.

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