ORANGE, Texas — A group in Orange honored Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a protest of the "Confederate Memorial of the Wind." The memorial is located off of MLK Drive and Interstate 10 in Orange. The group, "Repurpose Memorial," wants to see the sight re-purposed into something more representative of the entire community.
Louis Ackerman and his thirteen year old son Rustyn stood side-by-side at the protest. They've been at it for over a year now. Louis Ackerman said they chose Martin Luther King Jr. Day to make their voices heard once again.
"It's important to take a stand when it's inconvenient for you and when it's hard...when you're standing on a street corner and it's cold outside, you have people flipping you the bird as you drive by, that is when it's important to take a stand on these important issues," said Ackerman.
The protesters have an uphill battle. The memorial is located on private property. Their hope is that through their persistence, the owners will change their minds and re-purpose the sight.
"The confederacy stood for slavery and oppression, what ever else it means to other people you cannot forget that's what it stood for and that's what it fought for," said Ackerman.
Rustyn had plenty of other things he could have been doing on the MLK holiday, but chose to be their with his parents.
"We already have enough confederate monuments and memorials as it is, it's quite obvious that it's not just about teaching our history," said Rustyn.
Standing across from the memorial is a billboard, purchased by the group. On it is a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.:
"A time comes when silence is betrayal." Their hope is that it resonates with the community.
"I think he (Dr. King) would agree that this is not a monument to the patriotism of the south, but rather a monument to the corruption and racism that it brought," said Rustyn.
To keep up to date with "Repurpose Memorial" and for more information, check out their website.