Orange says it can't stop construction of Confederate Memorial

The Orange City Council voted Tuesday to oppose the construction of a Confederate Veterans Memorial. While the council unanimously voted in opposition, they say they can't stop construction because it sits on private property.

The vote came after several residents criticized the tribute that will include rebel flags flying at the intersection.

As crews were pouring the foundation for the memorial on Tuesday, dozens poured into City Hall voicing opposition to the memorial.

Opposers were heard saying "Hate breeds hate," "We want peace and unity and togetherness in Orange, Texas," and "I am not at all in favor of anything honoring somebody in slavery, murdering people, raping people and disrespecting people."

"We can't have this. We need to be unified in this area," says Orange resident, Addie Allen.

West Orange resident Marcus Wilkerson agreed saying, "I'm not opposed to a memorial to the Confederacy. But, I am opposed to a memorial to the Confederacy at that location."

The location sits at the corner of Interstate 10 and Martin Luther King Drive.

While some believe the location is disgraceful, the Sons of Confederate Veterans released a statement to 12 News saying "We feel this is not a conflict at all.  One of Martin Luther King's quotes is looking for the day that sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. We encourage our opponents to follow that advice and that wish from Dr. King and look forward to a day when that part of his dream is fulfilled."

The controversial memorial is going up and the city promises it will be watched by city inspectors.

"We will monitor the site to make sure that the parking and everything is up to code. We do not support this. We can not shut this down. Construction will carry on. But, we do not support the construction of it or any of it's activity," says Mayor Jimmy Sims.

The memorial is expected to cost at least $50,000; all paid by the organization.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans says the memorial is about correcting myths about why the war was fought and for educational purposes.


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