MORGANTON, N.C. (WBTV) - A couple of members of the Sons of the Confederacy put a wreath on the Confederate soldier memorial on the square in Morganton Tuesday morning.
“For our ancestors,” said one of the men.
They are hoping they can continue the yearly ritual next year around the Fourth of July but admit the winds of change are coming.
“We want it to stay,” said Elgie McGalliard.
Among the 1,350 names of confederate soldiers on the monument is one of his relatives. Any thought of tearing it down or moving it is not what he wants to see, he says.
Tyler Hastings, though, Is hoping the statue will be gone before long.
“I don’t think Confederate statues have a place anywhere in public spaces,” Hastings said.
He has started an online petition drive and already has more than 2,000 signatures, he says.
Hastings says he started the drive after a confrontation happened around the monument on Saturday.
More than 100 people were on the square with some guarding the statue, others counter protesting. Police came in to break it up and sent everyone home.
Hastings says he doesn’t care where it is moved to, just that the square in Morganton is not the place for it.
“It is not a representation of who we are as a community,” Hastings said.
Kathy Harshaw agrees.
“It needs to come down,” Harshaw said.
Harshaw has long ago relatives who were slaves in Burke County and buried not too far from where the confederate soldiers are honored. She hopes something else will go up in it’s place that appeals to all people.
Hastings says he will give the petition to local officials soon.
The statue, though, is the property of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. No indication yet if they would be willing to have it moved.