To the editor,
As a child of Franklin, I never paid much attention to the monument in the city square. It was just there. It was simply part of the skyline.
The more I know about it, the more I believe it should be moved. I believe a better place for this monument is in a cemetery rather than the center of town.
The monument was dedicated in 1899 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to memorialize exclusively the Confederate soldiers who fought for the preservation of their homes and way of life. The givers of the gift saw the monument’s purpose as a reminder to future generations that their brothers, sons, fathers made the ultimate sacrifice and died as heroes.
I appreciate our city’s leadership in allowing the “fuller story” to be told with the addition of the plaques on the square. However, I believe this is only a half effort. If the city of Franklin is going to honor the dead, it needs to have a true monument to the “unknown soldier,” not a partisan representation.
Bigger questions are: What is the message that the city of Franklin wants to portray to the world? Do we, as residents of Franklin, want to continue to defend slavery and segregation by retaining monuments that glorify its defenders? What is in the best interests of all the residents of Franklin and the future?
I believe our current community leaders have an obligation to support a memorial that honors all who sacrificed. I challenge our city leadership to come up with a memorial symbol that speaks to the sacrifice of all the soldiers in all our wars.
Caroline W. Stewart