In 1993, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners allowed the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) to erect a Confederate monument on the grounds of the historic county courthouse on the Lawrenceville Square to honor Gwinnett citizens who died in the Civil War.
It should be noted, the UDC was founded expressly to recognize deceased Confederate veterans since there was no government effort in place to mark the passing of countless soldiers. While the recognition of fallen veterans is important, the placement of such a monument should be given careful consideration.
As the City of Lawrenceville prepares to commemorate its bicentennial in 2021, it provides us a unique opportunity for reflection. Symbols and monuments are a tangible connection to our history, creating opportunities to remember our past and inform the ideals and actions that guide us in the present.
Confederate symbols naturally conjure up memories of one of the darkest periods in our nation’s history – a time of enslavement, oppression and division in our nation. It is understandable then why many are sensitive to the appearance and placement of such monuments.
The Lawrenceville Square serves as a place of prominence within our community. It is a place for public gatherings, celebrations, events and entertainment for all people. With this in mind and after careful thought and consideration, the Lawrenceville City Council strongly requests that this memorial be immediately relocated to a more appropriate place for remembrance and education, such as a historic cemetery or museum.
This request is not an attempt to remove or rewrite history. It is rather an intentional effort to preserve the dignity of those memorialized in a setting that allows for healthy discourse and contemplation. As the county seat of one of the largest counties in the South, we are committed to leading our community by ensuring our words and actions symbolize unity and equality for all.
David Still, Mayor
Bob Clark, Mayor Pro-Tem
Keith Roche, Councilman
Victoria Jones, Councilwoman
Glenn Martin, Councilman
Chuck Warbington, City Manager