The Commonwealth Journal presented a poll question about the recent event in Nancy where armed folks showed up at Mill Springs Battlefield sites to defend the Civil War monuments in the face of a rumored “attack” from the outside.
Not surprisingly, nearly 70 percent of our readers supported the show of support for the battlefield and the history it holds.
There were many people a little uneasy about the show of force in Nancy on that Friday afternoon — which corresponded, unfortunately, with the Juneteenth celebration in Downtown Somerset.
But despite a vast majority of the men and women who showed up in Nancy with firearms, there were no threats made, and the group and law enforcement on the scene got along. None of these people spilled into downtown to disrupt the Juneteenth event — that wasn’t their concern. Many Nancy residents said “we didn’t even know they were there.”
There were no disruptions. No fuss. No ruckus. No violence.
What you had were Pulaski countians who are serious about preserving Civil War monuments to a dark and historic time in our nation.
Now could this have gone sideways had protesters actually shown up? Absolutely.
Fortunately, that didn’t happen.
As a matter of fact, the intelligence law enforcement agencies had indicated there was never a threat of anyone from outside the area coming in to damage or deface monuments at Mill Springs.
But even if those folks gathered because of a social media myth, the gathering at least sent a message to people who might want to do some damage to Civil War monuments or the treasured cemeteries in the area where Civil War soldiers, some of them Confederates, are buried: That won’t fly in Pulaski County.
It was an example of a small community coming together to protect what’s important to it. Regardless of how one feels about these kinds of monuments in particular, there’s something admirable about that, in this cynical day and age.
We don’t have any Civil War monuments here in Somerset or Pulaski County that are not located on a hallowed Civil War site or in a cemetery. Therefore, there should be no outcry to remove or deface them. Period.
Civil War monuments belong in museums and on Civil War battlegrounds. And sites, such as the Mill Springs Battlefield, are a great source of local pride. Some of the men and women who converged on Nancy two weeks ago have descendants buried there.
We understand there is a movement to quell racial inequality in America and we support those efforts. We understand the call to remove Confederate monuments and symbols from government grounds — such as the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.
But damaging monuments, graves and markers on historic battlefields do nothing to further that agenda in a positive manner, in our view.
THE COMMONWEALTH JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD consists of Mark Walker, General Manager; Jeff Neal, Editor; Steve Cornelius, Sports Editor; Bill Mardis, Editor Emeritus; Mary Ann Flynn, Advertising; Shirley Randall, Production; and Christopher Harris, Staff Writer.