Letters: The monument is our voice

Posted 11/1/19

To the editor:

The “Our Confederate Heroes” monument should stay exactly where it is and not be removed as a result of four of five current county commissioners who have voted to remove it. It …

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Letters: The monument is our voice

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To the editor:

The “Our Confederate Heroes” monument should stay exactly where it is and not be removed as a result of four of five current county commissioners who have voted to remove it. It is our voice.

The monument is our history. It is our iconic symbol representing the memories, opinions, the voice, the speech of those who served as warriors. Those who valiantly sacrificed livelihood and life for what turned out to be the most defining event in America to that point. That Civil War made the United States into a unified country — no longer just a Confederation of States. To paraphrase filmmaker Ken Burns from his acclaimed series on the Civil War, People began to refer to the United States as an “is” rather than an “are” after the war.

The statue represents the voice of those who erected it and as the voice of those who survived the conflict of Civil War ancestors living in Chatham County.

The monument is speech. It is, in its presence, our speech today. As unpopular as it is to some on the left, it is our speech, our voice recognizing the Chatham County men who lived, fought, suffered and died during the Civil War.

The first amendment to the Constitution says government shall make no law abridging the speech of the people.

The first amendment is there to protect speech of all kinds - especially the speech of those whose words may offend or upset current more’s or convention.

That statue, that proud monument tells the story of collective, continuous and cohesive history.

It was put there by the people of Chatham County — the descendants of Chatham’s Civil War Veterans who loved this county and want their speech heard in the continued presence of the monument — there in the Courthouse Circle, in perpetuity.

You on the left, stand up now for the tolerance you so often espouse and support everyone’s free speech rights — the first amendment rights of those speaking through that steady, serene monument. You may hate it or disagree vehemently with its message — our message — but it is our speech.

Leave the statue there. Its place should not become another politically correct “safe space” where you will not be offended.

Respect our continued and protected right to remind everyone that Chatham County produced young men who would fight when called upon and who would also come together afterward and unify to make the United States an “is” — the greatest country on Earth.

Our voice is that monument. It says remember our history. Do not try to shut us up. Respect the monument as our Voice — our free speech. Leave the statue there.

And to the commissioners: Call a meetin; rescind your vote. Do not suppress the constitutionally guaranteed free speech rights of Chatham’s Citizens — past and present.

The monument is our voice.

Richard Tysor

Bear Creek


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