Protestors want monument removed

WILSON COUNTY, NC (WITN) – Protestors rallied in Wilson Wednesday morning, pushing for a 100-year-old monument to be removed.

Wilson County residents are calling on officials to remove the Wilson County Memorial Fountain that stands in front of the Courthouse. According to UNC, the monument was erected by the John W. Dunham Chapter of the United Daughters of Confederacy and the Thomas Hadley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution to honor Wilson County soldiers of all wars.

According to UNC, the memorial was dedicated in 1926. People advocating for its removal feel it sends the message that we are not all equal and stands as a symbol of hatred in front of a building that is open to anyone.

“That represents hate, that represents depression, that represents Jim Crow. If you look there, they had two fountains they took off, one was for the black and one was for the white. Yeah, you stop serving water but why would you leave the monument?” Protestor, Terry Griffin said.

Protestors were chanting “Take it down.” But this has been going on for years.

“The city has tried to get with the county to take this down but every time its always something. In 2020 they tried and it didn’t work, they said it would be a couple of months, then in 2021 the same thing,” Protestor, Mike Clanton said.

WITN reached out to Wilson County about what they plan to do and this was the statement we received.

“While the county has not been able to locate documents that define ownership, we are continuing to explore options. The monument must be preserved to comply with state law. Our understanding of current statutes is that we cannot tear it down as such, but it could be moved in a way so that preservation is maintained. We are still working diligently to determine how to do it, where the funding would come from, and how its preservation would be assured,” Wilson County Board of Commissioners Chairman, Rob Boyette said.