Statement of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin on Removal of Confederate Memorials
from Forest Hill Cemetery
The removal of City owned monuments to confederate soldiers in Forest Hill Cemetery has minimal or no disruption to the cemetery itself. There is no disrespect to the dead with the removal of the plaque and stone.
The Civil War was an act of insurrection and treason and a defense of the deplorable practice of slavery. The monuments in question were connected to that action and we do not need them on City property.
Taking down monuments will not erase our shared history. The Confederacy’s legacy will be with us, whether we memorialize it in marble or not. I agree with other Mayors around the country also speaking out and taking action. We are acknowledging there is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it. In Madison, we join our brothers and sisters around the country to prove that we as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile, and most importantly, choose a better future for ourselves.
There should be no place in our country for bigotry, hatred, or violence against those who seek to unite our communities and our country. That is why I instructed Forest Hills Cemetery staff to remove a confederate’s rest commemorative memorial. There is a larger monument, which has not garnered as much attention, which will also be removed.