Crews begin removing Athens Confederate monument

CLARKE COUNTY, Ga. — You will no longer see a symbol of the Confederacy in downtown Athens.

Just before midnight, crews removed the first part of a monument on East Broad Street. The entire removal is expected to be completed later in the day.

Some are glad to see it go, others say removing is a disgrace.

Athens-Clarke commissioners voted to remove the monument to widen the street and crosswalk.

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“I’m definitely happy to see it go,” said resident Parrish McWhorter.

A small group watched the Confederate monument come down. It represented 217 Athens Confederate soldiers who died fighting in the Civil War.

“For 217 families, that’s the only grave marker they have,” said resident Eric Cleveland.

Some claim there are too many negatives associated with the Confederacy.

“If someone is made to feel uncomfortable with this being in our town, then it has no place here,” McWhorter said.

East Broad Street will be closed from Pulaski Street to Thomas Street during the removal.