A citizen finally speaks out for Confederate Memorial

Published 9:55 am Thursday, November 15, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


In one video, one can hear more foul language and hate as an unknown citizen speaks for the Confederate Memorial under construction at the Interstate 10 and Martin Luther King Jr. intersection.

People, asking for the property to be repurposed, spent Saturday protesting the construction on a monument that has put Orange in the spotlight across the country. After Hurricane Harvey brought devastation to the area, it was quickly followed with stories about racism and hatred in Orange, all mentioning the memorial.

However, from the beginning, there may have been raised voices but never the display of anger as the citizen on Saturday.

I attended city council meetings, and town halls were people were asked if anyone present wanted to speak for the monument.

Always, the answer was silence.

Meanwhile, residents spoke against the memorial at city council meetings, town halls, and Orange County Commissioners Court.

In 2013, council members said they have not received any calls supporting the project. Over the years since, when asked the same question, the city said it had not received any calls in support of the monument.

The council said it has a legality issue because denying the permit would be a violation of first amendment rights.

The first amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’

The first part of the 14th amendment reads, ‘All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.’

The City of Orange did pass a resolution council passed a resolution opposing the construction and location of the park on April 9, 2013. The resolution will not stop or rescind or change the memorial. It only expresses the city’s view of the memorial.

The city attorney said the council had the right to pass a resolution.

Meanwhile, a couple from Houston but has ties to Orange, is protesting the park.

A group recently raised funds for a billboard which can be seen for the next month near the site of the memorial.

The billboard reads, “The Confederate Memorial of the Wind doesn’t reflect Orange, Texas community values. Please ask the Sons of Confederate Veterans to repurpose this site.


The hatred associated with this movement is not a reflection of Orange, nor is the display of anger from the videoed unknown person.


Dawn Burleigh is editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com