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Madison County Confederate monument has new home at Maple Hill Cemetery

WAAY 31 was downtown Thursday night when work to remove the statue started.

Posted: Oct 23, 2020 7:59 PM
Updated: Oct 23, 2020 10:15 PM

Madison County's Confederate monument, a point of contention and protest for almost half of the year, now has a new home at Maple Hill Cemetery.

WAAY 31 was downtown Thursday night when work to remove the statue started.

The monument is now where many in the community have said it is most appropriate: among the Confederate soldiers buried at Maple Hill Cemetery, but not everyone who watched its relocation Friday morning celebrated.

The sight of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan being lifted off its pedestal overnight was cause for celebration for many Huntsville residents.

"It was amazing to just see, finally, the hard work that people have put in, just stuck with the fight and this is just the end result of that. I'm just, I'm so, so proud that I'm able to be in this moment with the people that have worked so hard," said Joretha Wright, who watched the monument removal.

Marches and protests throughout the summer helped fuel the change while city and county leaders worked on a way to get the statue removed in a way they argue is legal.

Even though the removal of the Confederate monument itself did happen overnight, community activists we spoke with say they're celebrating all the time and hard work it took to get to this point.

"It's just been a culmination of voices spoke at meetings and people standing here on the steps of the courthouse asking for it to be removed, protests. It's just been a culmination of all these efforts together," said Mitchell Walker, president of the Greater Huntsville Inter-Denominational Ministry of Fellowship.

Some who turned out late Thursday night said the move violates the law and the Madison County Commission didn't listen to enough voices.

"The county commission never has tried to do any polling or checking with the residents of this county. They have listened to small groups," said William Miller.

But as the music of a boombox filled the courthouse square with music of celebration Friday morning, most who turned out called the change a victory for equality.

"It's just a good time. People are relaxed, they're cheering. It's just a nice feeling with everything that has been going on and all the tension and division, it's just nice that something like this that's caused so much chaos is actually bringing people together," said Wright.

Several people drove by to stop and take pictures of the monument. One woman we spoke with says she feels like this is a much better home for the monument at the cemetery.

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