Mixed emotions about removal of Confederate monuments in downtown Wilmington
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Confederate monuments in downtown Wilmington were taken down overnight, leaving people with mixed emotions as they passed by Thursday.
The City of Wilmington says it temporarily removed the two statues, which sit on Third Street and Market Street, to protect public safety. There has been talk in the community for years about removing the monuments, but there are conflicting opinions.
Most recently, the city put a curfew in place in the areas of the monuments and taped them off. Some residents were happy to see them go, so people don’t try to take the monuments down themselves as they have in other cities.
“A statue made of marble and people trying to get that down themselves, they could potentially hurt somebody.” Wilmington resident Anthony Marinakis said. “Then the biggest thing is just people’s sensitivities to it. It’s a person who does not need to be glorified. Yes, it’s a piece of our history and everything, but heroes get statues. There’s no such thing as a hero in the Confederacy.”
However, not everyone agrees with the decision. One resident says he understands the reasoning for the protests and feelings people around the nation have right now, but to him, the monuments represent a piece of our history and honors veterans like those involved in any other war.
“To me, this is not about slavery,” Wilmington resident JD Wooten said. “It’s not about what happened to the African American race here in the United States. Yeah, it’s a part of it, but to me, this is not defining slavery. It’s defining the lives that were lost from veterans.”
The city released a statement saying, due to recent protests and controversy over these monuments, they were deemed a threat to public safety and temporarily moved to an undisclosed location.