Confederate Monuments in Wichita Falls

As to be expected there was a mixed reaction to leaving monuments for Confederate soldiers, such as the one at Memorial Auditorium, where they are. But many here say, for varied reasons, this is part of our Nation’s history that shouldn’t be forgotten.

After the events in Charlottesville Virginia, the question about keeping up monuments for Confederate soldiers is raging across the nation again.  Some, such as Wichita County Treasurer Bob Hampton, have a family connection to the civil war. His great grandfather rode in the 30th Texas Cavalry.

“Do I think those men deserve a place in history. I certainly do,” Hampton said.

Some Wichita Falls residents agree with Hampton that the soldiers have a place in history, while others said if the monuments are going to cause problems they should be removed.

“I think it should be left,” said Julie Bader, a Wichita Falls resident. “It’s a part of history. Good or bad. The past is the past and you can’t change it. It should be left.”

“I think that some of them should come down,” said Barbara Wesley a Wichita Falls resident. “We have to understand history is history. We can’t rewrite history but leaving the statue up seems to antagonize the Ku Klux Klan, the white extremist and antagonizes the other group, so if we could just get rid of all of it and learn to live together in peace.”

Hampton and Mayor Stephen Santellana said the monuments can serve as a reminder of how far we have come as a country.

“What we do is we learn from our past, Hampton said. “This is the greatest country in the world and I speak without any hesitation about that because we have the history to prove it.”

“It’s part of our history it’s something we can’t erase,” said Santellana. “It’s something that needs to be remembered but it is a reminder of how things were. I like to say in a lot of speeches that we are one or two generations away from all of that being silly.”

Mayor Santellana said tearing down and destroying monuments would do nothing positive for the community so he doesn’t see the city removing the one in front of Memorial Auditorium.

He also said he has received only one phone call asking the city’s Confederate monument to be removed and while he does not see the city removing this one, if it ever started to cause problems the city would have to consider it.


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