GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A petition to remove the Confederate Soldier Statue from the Gregg County Courthouse was presented to County Judge Bill Stoudt during the commissioners court meeting on Monday. It was delivered during the public comments.
Chelsea Laury is a Longview resident and student at Tyler Junior College. She started the petition to get the Confederate statue removed from Gregg County Courthouse property and says she’s collected nearly 4,000 signature. She presented the petition to the commissioner’s court during public comments, and there were more than 20 people who addressed the court.
“At the end of the day those monuments weren’t built out of foolish political notion. They were built because people wanted to honor their loved ones who died on battlefields. And many of them still lay in unmarked graves or burial trenches on those battlefields to this day,” said Michael Pepper, of Ore City.
”In 1905, the local Daughters of the Confederacy chapter decided to do something about this problem. They spent six years raising the money for a memorial to remember the Confederate dead: those who never returned,” said Linda Beverly.
Zach Callaway of Longview said, ”When I look at a monument of Dr. King I am looking at his legacy, his ideology. And his was ideology of pride and people’s power. That is not what I see or what any of us should see when we look at a Confederate statue. The legacy there is that of a failed five year rebellion to defend slave masters’ rights to rule over black men, women and children. If you cannot see that when you look at these statues, then I don’t know what else to say.”
Tammy Hurley, of Longview said,” It is noted in U.S. History that Confederate soldiers are granted all rights of American Veterans.”
Chelsea Laury of Longview said,” I noticed that people did mention that Confederate soldiers need to be remembered, and they absolutely do, but not on the lawn of the Gregg County Courthouse. The better place for it would be a cemetery or somewhere else.”
There were more who spoke as individuals for the monument remaining in place, but those who spoke for having it removed seemed to be representing groups of people.
“Here’s the petition,” Chelsea Laury said as she handed it over to Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt.
Stoudt said the petition has been accepted and is under advisement.