Soldier Statue at Cemetery Found with Hands Cut Off & Face Smashed, $200K of Damage


The confederacy and the history of slavery is a great trauma in the soul of America. In many ways, we have never fully dealt with the legacy of slavery and its effect on us.

I grew up in the south and it was not uncommon for folks to repeat the slogan “the south will rise again.”

As recently as last summer, confederate flags flew over protesters and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Across the country, cities have begun to remove Confederate statues from public property. In some instances, folk have taken it upon themselves to do the work themselves.

In these instances, statues have been damaged, destroyed, and defaced. Take the case of Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Rome, Georgia.

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A statue of a confederate soldier was discovered with its hands and riffle cut off. His face was bashed in as well.

“It’s just super disappointing that somebody would go to that much trouble to get up there, put a ladder up or whatever to reach it,” said Rome city manager Sammy Rich.

Cemeteries are a place for remembering, grieving, and celebrating the lives that have touched ours. This sort of disturbance at a cemetery is uncomfortable for many.

While the cemetery is closed to car traffic during the night, someone could still — and probably did — easily walk into it and reach the statue.

According to Cemetery Director Stan Rogers, the damage is estimated to be around $200,000. The statue has been removed and the city will determine if it can be repaired and put back.

The statue itself had been erected in 1887 by “the Women of Rome” as a memorial to fallen confederate soldiers.

The memorial originally had an urn, but it was replaced by the standing soldier in 1909.

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The national debate about Confederate soldiers has no easy answers. Wars in general — and especially the Civil war — have drawn out a diversity of opinions and thoughts.

In Durham, North Carolina, protesters pulled down a statue in front of the courthouse.

In Brooklyn, a plaque that stood by a tree planted by Robert E. Lee was removed. Places as diverse as Austin, Texas, and Annapolis, Maryland, have removed statues.

Ultimately what we need is a way to grieve the past, honor those fallen and form a space where those tragedies can never happen again.

Denying the existence of the Confederacy is of not help in the conversation, but neither is celebrating people who supported slavery.

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