Logan Wroge, Madison State Journal, October 3, 2018
The Madison City Council backed the removal of a Confederate monument in Forest Hill Cemetery Tuesday after it overrode a commission decision that called for the monument to remain.
Council members voted 16-2 to overturn the Landmarks Commission’s ruling that barred the removal of a large, stone monument that lists the names of about 140 prisoners-of-war buried in a section of the cemetery known as Confederate Rest.
“You don’t have discussion in a cemetery. You have reflection, and you have memories, and this (monument) brings up memories that are not so pleasant in our history,” said Council Vice President Sheri Carter.
In April, the City Council voted to remove the monument. But since Forest Hill Cemetery, 1 Speedway Road, is a designated landmark, the Landmarks Commission needed to weigh in on whether the removal was appropriate.
Commissioners voted 3-1 last month to reject an application for the monument‘s removal, arguing that taking it out would go against the city’s historic preservation ordinance.
The monument was installed in 1906 and funded by the Daughters of the Confederacy, a group some have argued promotes a false narrative about the Civil War that glorifies the Confederate cause. But others have argued that the monument simply acts as a grave marker for weathering headstones in the Confederate Rest.