Mitch Landrieu probably never expected to receive a letter like the one he did a few days ago. The mayor of Hanceville, Ala. – which is a small town just north of Birmingham – reached out to Landrieu asking if he would consider donating the removed confederate monuments to the city of Hanceville, ultimately to be placed in their Veterans Memorial Park.
The letter, published by The Cullman Times, reads:
Dear Mayor Landrieu,
If I may introduce myself, I am Kenneth Nail, the Mayor of the City of Hanceville, Alabama. I would like to speak to you about the Confederate Monuments in your city.
I understand that symbols mean different things to different people. The symbols or Confederate Monuments that are seen as offensive symbols of hate in New Orleans are seen in our city as highly regarded symbols of heritage and struggles faced by all people.
I would like to respectfully request for you and your city council to consider donating these monuments to the City of Hanceville. We have located in our city a Veterans Memorial Park that honors all Veterans and all struggles. We would put these monuments on display there. They would be safely protected and enjoyed by all people who visit the park.
We would truly consider it an honor and a blessing for you to kindly make allowance for our humble request.
Sincerely at your service,
Mayor Kenneth Nail
Landrieu’s office has yet to comment.
The Cullman Times additionally quotes Mayor Nail’s personal comments on the matter: “My view is that it’s an opportunity; a great teaching tool that we could have in our city … It’s an opportunity for all of us to reflect on all our struggles, and to celebrate how far we’ve come – while clearly acknowledging that we had those struggles. Different symbols mean different things to different people. We definitely don’t need to forget or be blind to history, which I think some well-meaning folks in our society are kind of pushing for, intentionally or unintentionally.”
It’s a shame that Mayor Landrieu doesn’t see things the way Mayor Nail, and a great deal of his own constituency, does. Just recently, while delivering a speech at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., he claimed that these monuments are murder (an excuse for his focus on their removal instead of the spiking murder rates in New Orleans). He also asserted that the presence of those monuments caused people to move out of the city. Hopefully they didn’t move to Hanceville.
Mayor Nail said that he’s gotten nothing but positive feedback from the citizens of Hanceville. However, we’re confident that Landrieu would never let these monuments go for free – after all, he blew through more than a million dollars of taxpayer money taking them down after promising he wouldn’t spend a dime, and you can bet anybody who wants them will pay through the nose to get them.