Dear Editor: Recently, the Madison City Council voted for a second time to remove the memorial stone at Confederate Rest in Forest Hill Cemetery. An alder mentioned that its removal will help in a small way repair our past.
The Confederate Rest site and the memorial that sits there are part of our history. Visitors should see signage that explains how the site came to be and contextualizes the memorial, which should remain at the site. It displays the names of the men who are buried there and keeps us mindful of the culture that motivated them to risk their lives in the effort to enslave millions of other lives.
The best way to learn from our past is to confront it, not eliminate it. Removing the memorial stone, leaving a field of nothing more than small, weathered headstones (some unreadable), will not help repair our past. That would only silence it.
I hope the council's decision will not prevail.
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