What's The Future of Confederate Monument in Owensboro?

As Lexington city officials announce plans to remove their confederate statues, what does the future hold for one in western Kentucky?

The Confederate Monument in Owensboro, on the grounds of the Daviess County Courthouse, has stood for more than 115 years.

The statue standing outside the courthouse was first built in 1900 and was a monument to those who served for the Confederacy during the Civil War. While some would like to keep that statue where it is, others are calling for it to be taken down.

"I think it needs to be left alone. It's a part of American history," says Debra Hagan.

"All history is not good history," says Rev. Larry Lewis of Zion Baptist Church.

A statue near the center of Owensboro, again becoming the center of a growing debate.

"I think it speaks of division and of racism," says Rev. Lewis. For him, there's too much pain and anguish associated with the monument. He disagrees with referring the soldiers the monument is dedicated to as heroes.

"I don't look at heroes in that kind of light. I'm sure we have heroes of what a hero is, but when it comes to the confederate statues and monuments of that sort, I can't see where there is heroism in that," he says.

The statue was built by the Daughters of the Confederacy. It's been the center of calls of removal in the past, as recently as 2012. But Judge Executive Al Mattingly says there's no intention to take the statue down, adding taking down one part of the past can lead to people potentially forgetting it.

"If we go that far, then what's to prevent someone from going to a cemetary and saying, 'There's a marker for a confederate soldier and we don't like that. We want you to remove it.'?" Mattingly says.

Despite the disagreements, people on both sides of the debate tell us they do not want to see a repeat of Charlottesville happen in Owensboro.

(This story was originally published on August 14, 2017)


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