Credit: Stone Mountain Park
Stone Mountain Park, in Stone Mountain, GA, is a big tourist attraction which is also frequented by locals. There are a number of activities to behold here from riding the Skyride to taking a train around the mountain. Another big draw is the history and the magnificent sculpture in the side of the mountain. The sheer size of this sculpture is a reason to go check it out.
According to the Stone Mountain Park website:
The largest high relief sculpture in the world, the Confederate Memorial Carving, depicts three Confederate heroes of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. In 1912 the carving existed only in the imagination of Mrs. C. Helen Plane, charter member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC).
According the Atlanta Journal Constitution, McCartney Forde, from Dekalb County, GA, has filed a petition to remove the carving from Stone Mountain because of the underlying confederate meaning. He suggests that in place of this carving should be carvings honoring veterans who died in all wars since WWI.
According to 11 Alive News, the mountain was also the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, and this organization held cross burnings on the mountain until the 1980’s. This story has created much buzz on 11 Alive’s facebook page. I won’t even begin to describe the utter ignorance and racism I witnessed reading through the comments. Because of people like those who left comments on this facebook page, Mr. Forde has filed this petition.
One person commented on the subject saying: If you remove history just because you don’t like what happened it will inevitably be repeated.
I have to strongly disagree with this comment. Although I do not care one way or another if this monument is removed, it is not displayed as a part of history that should not be repeated. As stated in the above description from Stone Mountain Park, the monument depicts “heroes” of the confederacy. This is the largest relief sculpture in the world. It is glorifying those men and what they did, not condemning their views, values, and actions. The only way that a monument will serve to ensure that history will not be repeated is if that monument reinforces a negative view of what happened at that point in history. This monument will not prevent history from repeating itself. If anything it will lead people to continue to hold that hatred in their hearts and pass it on from generation to generation. I think the comments on 11 Alive’s facebook page have proven this without a doubt, SADLY.