Gainesville replacing 100-year-old Confederate monument

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 5:50 PM CDT
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GAINESVILLE, Texas (KXII) - The city of Gainesville is moving forward with their plans to replace a 100-year-old confederate monument on the grounds of a city park.

City officials want this to represent patriotism, not politics.

The nearly $400K monument will stand about 19 feet tall and light up at night. It’ll be featured in Leonard Park, where the old monument currently stands.

While some in the area are excited about this, others aren’t as thrilled.

“I think it should be left alone” said Gainesville resident Michelle Hermes.

Michelle Hermes and her mother have lived in Gainesville their whole lives.

They were eating their lunch at Leonard Park Monday afternoon when, to their surprise, they found out about the city’s plans to remove the Confederate monument.

“I like that statue it’s been there ever since I’ve been a little kid and I’d come swimming up here” said Hermes.

Hermes says the confederate monument is part of her heritage.

“It should be left right where it is, if people don’t like it they can walk right past it. It’s history” Hermes said.

Councilman Brandon Eberhart says he knew there would be some people opposed to the removal.

“Initially we had a lot of backlash for voting to take it down, I think once people see what we’re replacing it with, it will bring the community together” Eberhart said.

They’re replacing it with a five-sided monument, featuring the pledge of allegiance, Medal of Honor Host city Logo, and quotes from Martin Luther King.

A bronze star will be the center focus, held up by five different arms.

Eberhart, who also was born and raised in town, says he wants everyone in Gainesville to feel welcome, and safe.

“Our patriotism is huge here, our Texas pride is huge, and our unity is huge, and I think this is going to show that, show what we are today” said Eberhart.

The current Confederate monument will be removed from the park, but officials say it will still stay in town, at either the library or train station, where the council hopes it will serve an educational purpose.

Hermes says she’s okay with that.

“Well if it satisfies everybody then let them do it. If it’s not getting taken out of Cooke County, then I don’t care, but as long as it stays here. Because that’s just part of our history,” said Hermes.

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