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home : news : greenwood June 18, 2018

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5/30/2018 3:25:00 PM
Greenwood's War Memorial - The Rest of the Story

Dear Editor:

I pose a question - do you believe that it's possible to change the events of history? The management of Greenwood, SC does. I refer to the mayor's quote in the local Index-Journal newspaper 12/17/14 that "I think if history offends people it should be rewritten if possible". Of course the events of history cannot be changed.

Greenwood's 1929 War Memorial is about to be altered despite the state's Heritage Law 10-1-165 which prohibits such memorials from being "relocated; removed; disturbed or altered." A lawsuit was filed against the law and a local judge ruled in favor last week allowing the monument to be altered. The protective Heritage Law is now vulnerable Two of its original bronze plaques list Greenwood's WWI and WWII dead separately by race reflecting the social order of that day. Those two will soon be removed and replaced with new plaques listing those wars' dead together. The Korean and Vietnam War dead are already listed together reflecting the American military's change to integration in 1948. . Since 1929 the original monument continues to stand as a great history lesson, the plaques placed reflecting society of their day. We must show the courage to face unpleasant parts of our history and to learn from them. Are there other monuments; symbols or cemeteries that some will find "offensive" and want to tamper with? Let's keep a wary eye.

Eric Williams - Greenwood



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