WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- A 60-foot tall monument to Confederate soldiers in Hastings-on-Hudson should remain in place and be seen as a symbol of reconciliation rather than of the Confederacy or white supremacy, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said.
The monument is located in the southwest corner of Mount Hope Cemetery near the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Saw Mill River Road. Dedicated in 1897, it is also known as the Confederate Monument and Burial Ground.
Feiner said a Hastings resident emailed me him asking that the monument be removed, saying "we shouldn't honor those who promoted white supremacy and slavery."
Feiner said that Hastings Mayor Peter Swiderski reached out to him and highlighted the fact that this monument is different than other Confederate monuments.
"The monument is a symbol of reconciliation," Feiner said. "Northerners and those who fought for the Confederacy attended the dedication of the monument in 1897.
"After learning these facts I spoke with Hazel Dukes, President of the NYS chapter of the NAACP who understands that this monument is different from monuments that promote hate, discrimination, racism and anger."
"Today, our country needs to stop hating," Feiner said. "We all have to get along. We could learn a positive lesson from the men and women of 1897 who decided to put aside their past differences and be friends."
The site is monitored and cared for by the Westchester-Putnam-Dutchess Chapter of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, who conduct a memorial service there every Confederate Memorial Day on April 27.
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