While most of the interaction on our poll about the future of the Confederate monument simply involved a spiraling discord among the top commenters in the Owensboro Times comment section, there were 577 people who took the poll. Of those submitting a vote, 55% think the monument should stay while 45% think it should move — whether it be to storage, a museum, another outside location, or the bottom of the river.
Note: This poll will have no direct influence on what will be done regarding a potential relocation, but was meant to help give the community a platform to share their opinion.
The ruling of ownership was made April 30 in a 16-page document issued by Judge Lisa Payne Jones (read more here). The Kentucky Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy claimed they owned the monument, but in her ruling Jones was thorough and adamant that is not and has never been the case.
The votes in our poll broke down as follows:
- 20 – Move it to another publicly owned plot of land
- 45 – Move it to privately owned land
- 165 – Move it to storage if a suitable location cannot be found quickly
- 320 – Leave it where it is
- 27 – Other: (Leave your answer in the Facebook comments)
Most of the comments were not actual suggestions, but instead were arguing about the history of the monument and whether or not it represented racism in some fashion.
Here are a few of the comments that had at least some relevance to the actual poll, or gave us a laugh:
- Jesse Miller said Throw it in the river. Destroy it.” Nick Jackson replied to that comment saying “right in the drink. I’m sure it would make a nice aquarium piece for the catfish.
- Kathryn Robertson Campbell said Sell it for scrap.
- Jim Wolter was involved in several threads. In one comment, he said Those of you who demand that it be removed, have you ever really read the history of the War of Northern Aggression or are you merely getting your information from a select group who are offended by this hunk of bronze. Read history and form your own opinion rather than be guided by those who have no idea what history is.
- Debbie Head said Just take the word Confederate out and inscribe Kentucky in its place. Win/Win for all Kentucky residents who died during any war, very honorable and something we all can respect RENAME IT.
- Cyndi Lovelace Young said Maybe the cemetery? Are there any Civil War Graves? Just a thought …… was it not a memorial?
- Jon W. Fowler said The only reason people want it left where it is is because they know if it goes to the museum then they’ll never see it again. They don’t visit places of learning.
- Bob Boling said It should be destroyed.
- Several people commented with some version of the simple message to keep it where it is.
- Michael S. Bell said It needs to go to the museum. The history of it is sad but unfortunately apart of what took place. It should not be on public tax payers ground area.
- Erin Jarboe said Move it to a museum where it can be preserved and people can continue to learn about history.
- Charlie Nix said Leave it where it has been for many years. All monuments should be sacred.
- Dale Tinsley Burroughs said Hide it in a deep dark hole.
- Benjamin Crabtree said Are there better monuments to represent Owensboro as a whole? Maybe monuments should cycle with time to represent the heart of the city we know now. Maybe those monuments should represent more current figures that changed the course of the city. Maybe people we all loved as a community. Think about it, if someone visits a city and they see monuments of who WE are as a city, That will give them history and insight into the heart of that city. There are obviously opposing viewpoints. And while I do not agree with them, I do understand them. Maybe it comes down to how issues like this are being framed. Maybe a “we are replacing this with something that represents us better”. Then take a poll of who the city would like to see the new monument be. Give the options, and then let’s enjoy a better monument that we can All be proud of.
- Lisa Neel said I wonder if covering the inscription would be a suitable compromise. Instead of a monument to “our confederate heroes,” what if that were covered with a plaque commemorating the nearly 30,000 Kentuckians who perished in the Civil War, “X number” who fought for the Confederate cause, and “X number” who fought to preserve the Union, then saying “May they Rest In Peace.”?
The UDC has a 30-day window to appeal the decision. County attorney Claud Porter previously said Fiscal Court will not take any action prior to closure of that 30-day window. As of May 10, no decision had been announced regarding a potential appeal by UDC.