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Otis Sanford: Forrest statue, graves should be moved to Columbia

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Just in time for the holidays, there appears to be breakthrough on the horizon concerning the controversial statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

While specifics are still murky at best, there are serious efforts taking place behind the scenes that could result in the statue – and the graves of Forrest and his wife – being moved from a Memphis park to the general’s boyhood home in Columbia, Tennessee.

Tuesday, the City Council put off a third and final vote on pushing ahead to take the Forrest statue out of Health Sciences Park. Their attorney Allan Wade said the city and the Sons of Confederate Veterans are looking at mediation to settle the dispute over moving the monument and graves.

It is indeed an encouraging development even though a spokesman for the Confederate group continues to defiantly insist that the statue and graves will never be moved.

Such talk is unproductive and foolish.

The fact is, there are well-meaning people in Memphis working quietly with descendants of Forrest and others to get the statue and graves relocated. There is little doubt that the graves and monument would become instant tourist attractions in that middle Tennessee city.

That is the absolute best outcome and I support those working to make it happen.

Call it a holiday gift from Memphis.