For the past few weeks, I have been reading editorials and letters to the editor that are biased both ways for and against the Confederate monuments in New Orleans. These statues are on the National Register of Historic Places and should be preserved for future generations.
My father taught high school history for 32 years, and he instilled in me a love of history. He always said you have to know the past to predict the future and not re-create the same problems but to solve the problems.
As a historic preservationist, I propose the following solution to the problem: Preserve the Gen. Robert E. Lee statue, but allow the erection of four new statues around the circle. These statues could be a famous musician, famous chef and two other outstanding citizens of New Orleans such as Andrew Higgins. The circle could be renamed Statuary Circle.
The same thing could be accomplished at the Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard statue at City Park. Preserve the Beauregard statue and add two additional statues of outstanding citizens of New Orleans on each side of the street entering the park. This would allow for six new statues to be erected near these two statues to identify the diversity and unique culture of New Orleans.
You can not change history by removing statues that have been in place for over a hundred years. What happened, happened, and future generations should know when and why these statues were built. When they were erected, the majority of the citizens of the city approved of this, and today in 2015, if six new statues are built, hopefully the majority of the citizens will show support for this project.
This would bring the city together and not tear it apart as it appears to be doing at present. I love New Orleans, and I love Louisiana, and I would love to see both sides negotiate to a mutual understanding of this problem so future generations will be able to evaluate all the monuments, which will enable them to acquire a better understanding of why these statues were erected at the specific period of time in our history.
retired state employee