Community willing to compromise on future of Franklin Confederate monument but questions the cost

Franklin Confederate monument public hearing (August 24) 2.jpg
Franklin Confederate monument public hearing (August 24).jpg
Posted at 10:40 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 23:42:42-04

FRANKLIN, Va. - Just like in other cities across the country, it was a debate.

“Monument are markers of history,” said one speaker. Another added that the monument is “a symbol of oppression.”

Speakers filled the auditorium while some waited outside to discuss the future of the statue at Memorial Park that reads, “To our Confederate Dead."

One resident said, “My daddy went to war!”

George Michael Wade lives in Franklin.

“It's a memorial for loved ones that died; it’s the only thing I see out of that thing,” he adds.

The one thing they can agree on is “keeping the peace” throughout the decision process.

Related: Newport News City Council votes to remove Confederate monument outside courthouse

"As a citizen, I want what's best for our community and what's going to keep the tensions away from Franklin,” said Tim Bradshaw. He is the chairman of the Franklin Southampton Republican Party.

Bradshaw, along with others, wants find a way to respect everyone's personal views.

Carla Scott believes a good compromise would be moving the statue that was placed in the park in the late 1940s to a museum or cemetery.

Most citizens agree. Some taxpayers question where the funds to remove or relocate the statue are coming from.

“The $50,000 price tag is another thing 'cause I don’t think Franklin has a million in the bank,” said Wade.

City Manager Amanda Jarratt says the $50,000 is from fund balance.

City council did not make a decision Monday night on the next steps for the monument.

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