Confederate Veterans Memorial Monument
This Confederate monument, a 52-foot sandstone obelisk, was dedicated in 1905 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The monument has stood at the entrance to Linn Park for over a century, but renewed concern about the Confederacy's support of slavery and other forms of racial discrimination led many Birmingham residents to call for the removal of the statue in recent years. In addition, many believe that the quote selected for inclusion on the monument glorifies war by stating that "the manner of their death (Confederate soldiers) was the crowning glory of their lives."
Backstory and Context
This monument blends aspects of both eras. Speeches at the dedication spoke of "Southern rights" - a phrase that connoted the South's desire for control over local matters including race relations. At the same time, the dedication of this monument included calls for reconciliation with the North by two women who were both leaders of the effort to raise funds for the monument. Absent from the remarks of these two women are the indirect and sometimes direct references to white racial solidarity that were often present at other Confederate monument dedications.
In the summer of 2015, Birmingham Park and Recreation Board voted unanimously in favor of moving the monument to "an appropriate location." The future of the monument is uncertain, while many local residents express concern with each of the proposed courses of action for fear that removal might lead to unintended consequences. Some suggest that the monument be moved to a museum where it could be accompanied by historic interpretation of the war, slavery, and the state of race relations throughout the city when the monument was created. At that time, schools were cancelled so that children could join their parents in celebrating April 26th as "Confederate Memorial Day."
Rachel Osier Lindley, "Birmingham Officials Move To Relocate Confederate Monument" July 1, 2015/ https://news.wbhm.org/feature/2015/birmingham-officials-approve-removal-of-Confederate-monument/