If you are driving around downtown Macon, chances are you have passed several monuments in town, but do you know what they actually mean?
In New Orleans, it is the meaning of two Confederate-era monuments that have caused people to protest resulting in their removal. Some people say they are a part of history and others say they promote racism.
In Macon, there are two Confederate monuments. There is one on Second Street and Cotton Avenue depicting a Confederate soldier. It represents those killed during the Civil War from 1861 to 1865. The other is on Poplar Street in front of the Government Center dedicated to "the women of the south." Despite their origins, many Maconites say they are fine where they are.
"They're still a part of our history. I think they should stay. I don't see myself asking anyone to take down something that's a part of their heritage,” says Maconite Bill Andrews.
Others in Macon say the monuments should be a teaching point for our children.
"We should keep it here. Yes, some people might see it as offensive, but you know history is changing, we still need history to be in our city and in our community. We should keep it and just adapt to it,” says Jamie Johnson.
One woman says the monuments are a cornerstone of Macon that add to the city's beauty.
"It makes downtown look good. Especially when stuff like the Cherry Blossom comes. You don't want to just see grass and open space,” says Felicie Webster.
Macon-Bibb Commissioner Bert Bivins says he just hopes that things like the monuments will make people more empathetic of others' beliefs.
"This community is divided enough. I talked to some people about ways we can start trying to look at being a more united community and work better together,” says Bivins.
He says keeping the Confederate-era monuments is the first step toward doing that. We also reached out to Mayor Robert Reichert about the Confederate women's statue at the Bibb Government Center, which dates back to 1911. His spokesman said he was not available Thursday.
The monument at Second and Cotton Avenue has been in its current location since 1878.