Around a half dozen Collierville and Memphis residents addressed the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday night during the portion of the semimonthly meeting reserved for citizens comments.
The speakers asked that the town have the Confederate marker located on Town Square Park removed or possibly relocated.
The marker, which was erected in 1940, is from the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It has the words “Confederate Park” engraved on it.
Historically referred to as “Town Square,” officials said three years ago that the area did not have an official name.
In 2017, the Board voted unanimously to identify the space as “Town Square Park” to eliminate confusion.
Local activist and organizer LJ Abraham said that Confederate monuments “promote racism, not heritage.”
“I know that most of you will argue that it is no longer named Confederate Park,” she said. “However, the monument itself says ‘Confederate Park’ at the bottom.”
Permission to remove the monument, which is protected by the Tennessee Heritage Act, must be provided by the State of Tennessee.
Ron Buck, a minister and U.S. history professor who has lived in Collierville for around eight years, said he doesn’t want to see the “town embroiled in a controversy.”
“I don’t believe in the educational value of these monuments,” he noted. “That’s the most touted reason for preserving them in situ instead of in a museum or some other setting.”
He noted that his students did not learn history from statues or monuments in parks and suggested that the marker be moved to the Morton Museum.