Returning to Lakeland in October, we were pleased to find the Confederate soldier statue still in its place of honor in Munn Park.
We disagree strongly with the ongoing effort to revise history and besmirch the honor and character of people and events long held appropriately in high esteem by the large majority of Americans.
The statue's purpose is to honor the dedication, valor and resolve of the hundreds of thousands of Confederate soldiers who answered the call to defend their homeland from invading Union armies. Slavery was not their issue as has been claimed by some that we understand have been made uncomfortable by the statue. Indeed, it is unlikely that one in a thousand of the soldiers memorialized by the statue ever owned a slave.
Our families served on the Union side but we understand how the families of the 3 million men who served on both sides and the more than 600,000 who died still revere the memory and the sacrifice commemorated by memorials such as this statue.
The regrettable resolution to relocate the statue required that the estimated $225,000 cost use no public funds and none should be. This venerable statue should remain in Munn Park.
Warren Smith, Lakeland