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Gwinnett County to vote today on removing Confederate monument in Lawrenceville

The vote is set to be held at 2 p.m.
Credit: GGC

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Gwinnett County's board of commissioners will vote today on whether to remove a Confederate monument in Lawrenceville's city square.

The monument has been in place on the grounds of the historic county courthouse since the early 90s when the board of commissioners allowed the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) to erect it there.

Over the last couple of years, it has been the subject of calls for removal numerous times, including by the Lawrenceville City Council, former Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter, and various civic groups and organizations.

RELATED: DA on Confederate obelisk: 'This monument does not represent the people of Gwinnett'

Many of those calls were renewed this summer during the protests against racial injustice across the country, and with the removal or relocation of Confederate monuments in several cities.

A release sent out by one commissioner, Kirkland Carden, ahead of the vote called the monument "hateful and divisive." 

An interfaith group who lobbied for its removal last year said it "glorifies a cause that brutalized the ancestors of many members of our community."

"While the recognition of fallen veterans is important, the placement of such a monument should be given careful consideration," the city council said in a statement last year. "As the City of Lawrenceville prepares to commemorate its bicentennial in 2021, it provides us a unique opportunity for reflection. Symbols and monuments are a tangible connection to our history, creating opportunities to remember our past and inform the ideals and actions that guide us in the present."

The monument itself is a broad stone slab, standing about five or six feet high with the inscription "1861-1865 Lest We Forget" on it.

On one side it says: "In remembrance of the citizens of Gwinnett County who honorably served the Confederate States of America." The other side includes a Winston Churchill quote that says in part "no nation can long survive without pride in its traditions."