Petition seeks to remove Denton Confederate statue
Monday, April 28, 2008
By DEBBIE DENMON / WFAA-TV
DENTON - While to some the statue of a Confederate soldier that stands before the Denton County Courthouse represents a piece of history, others say they believe it just represents hypocrisy.
That stand has incited two University of North Texas students to start a petition for the removal of the historical landmark, a statue of a Confederate soldier holding his gun to represent the South in the Civil War.
"It's really very frustrating that so many people would look at this and clap," said Aron Duhon, one of the students behind the petition.
Duhon said the statue, with its two separate fountains, is a standing ovation to racism. The two fountains were originally made separate for whites and blacks.
"A confederate soldier who took up arms in defense of a regime based on slavery is the farthest thing from a hero possible," Duhon said.
The word "HERO" was etched in the memorial nearly 90 years ago.
"We live in a diverse population," said Jason V. Waite, another student behind the petition. "We have the University of North Texas here. We have lots of foreign students, lots of commuters and this only puts a damper on entrepreneurial interests in Denton."
Denton County Judge Mary Horn said the students' petition is the third time the confederate statue issue has caught the attention of the commissioners court.
"We did take it up with the Texas Historical Commission and their feeling is it is part of history and it does need to stay," Horn said.
There are those who agree.
"When I see a Confederate soldier memorial, I got to stop to have a picture of that," said Sandy Kolls, a self-professed historical buff.
Kolls came across the statue while visiting Texas from Illinois.
"I'm a northerner and I honor the soldiers who fought for the Confederacy, okay?" she said of the statue. "So, I get a good feeling."
There are also others who disagree.
"I believe it represents hatred," said Coby Williams.
"That's just like having, I guess, like a slave owner with a whip," agreed Leah Herford.
The UNT students say they will collect signatures now and throughout the summer to try to convince the Texas Historical Commission to remove the statue. In the past, the Commission has stood firm on keeping the memorial standing on public ground.
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