Some calling for removal of Confederate statue off Union

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- "You can't deny history but there's no point of glorifying that history of hate, of bigotry, of the Klu Klux Klan that use the flag as their standard bearer," said Memphis City Council member Myron Lowery.

He told WREG he's glad to see the Confederate flag removed from stores and flagpoles.

Now he said he wants the removal of an enormous statue of Confederate Civil War General Nathan Bedford Forrest that prominently sits in a peaceful and shaded park off Union Avenue.

"This is a time gone by; a time passed. A time that, yes, is historical in our city but it's not a time to be honored," he said.

Lowery showed WREG several emails he's gotten from citizens over the last few days calling for the removal of the statue.

But this wasn't a new idea.

Years ago many people pushed to have the statue moved but it never happened.

Lowery said there could be talk again.

"There may be a movement to remove the statue from Union Avenue back to Elmwood Cemetery. That's where Nathan Bedford Forrest was originally buried," he said.

Lee Millar with the Sons of Confederate Veterans strongly opposed that idea.

He said if you move the statue you're moving a gravesite and Forrest was an important part of Memphis history.

"He was a City Councilman, an Alderman for 2 terms, and helped rebuild the city after the war," Millar said.

Millar also said there's no direct evidence Forrest was a member of the KKK.

"So that's just something that's been passed down, rumored," he said.

Park go-ers WREG talked to said they could understand why some people want it removed, but believed there were other issues the city should focus on.

"There's so many greater issues in this world with poverty and things like that," said Megan Watters.

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