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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Madison’s city council voted again to remove the Confederate memorial in Forest Hill Cemetery, a decision that possibly goes against federal landmarks standards.

Madison’s city council voted again to remove the Confederate memorial in Forest Hill Cemetery, a decision that possibly goes against federal landmarks standards.

City council votes again to remove Confederate memorial

For the second time in six months, Madison’s city council voted to remove the Confederate memorial in Forest Hill Cemetery.

The council previously voted to have the memorial removed in April but needed the approval of the city’s Landmarks Commission to make major changes to the cemetery, which is a designated landmark. The commission rejected the removal in August.

Stuart Levitan, who sits on the Landmarks Commission and voted against the removal, told the council Tuesday the commission acted in accordance with federal monument standards set by the Department of the Interior. Because of this, the council’s vote to remove the monument could be appealed by the federal government.

“Rebel soldiers who fought to preserve slavery should have their graves respected, but they are not entitled to a large marble monument in Madison’s municipal cemetery,” Levitan said. “I don’t know what legal basis you have for reversing the commission, but I hope you can find one.”

Ald. Marsha Rummel, District 6, said the monument was installed as part of a campaign by the Daughters of the Confederacy, who erected the monument in 1906 to “whitewash” the country’s history.

The council voted to remove the monument by a 16-2 vote with Alders Mike Verveer, District 4, and Paul Skidmore, District 9, opposed.

“The biggest issue this city faces is … racial equity and inclusiveness,” Ald. Allen Arntsen, District 13, who appealed the commission’s decision last month, said. “This is a step in that direction.”

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