Mayor Joe Hogsett announced June 4 a plan to remove a monument dedicated to Confederate soldiers from Garfield Park. The monument memorialized Confederate soldiers who died at a Union prison camp in Indianapolis, and was moved to Garfield Park a century ago from its original location at Greenlawn Cemetery.
“Our streets are filled with voices of anger and anguish, testament to centuries of racism directed at Black Americans,” Hogsett said in a statement. “We must name these instances of discrimination and never forget our past – but we should not honor them. Whatever original purpose this grave marker might once have had, for far too long it has served as nothing more than a painful reminder of our state’s horrific remembrance of the Ku Klux Klan [KKK] a century ago.”
The monument was moved to Garfield Park in 1928, an effort supported by public officials in the KKK who wanted to make the monument more visible to the public. In 2017, the Indianapolis Parks Board passed a resolution to remove the monument once funding was secured.
“For some time, we have urged that this grave monument belongs in a museum, not in a park, but no organization has stepped forward to assume that responsibility,” Hogsett said. “Time is up, and this grave marker will come down.”
Hogsett said the monument will be dismantled by contractors in this next several days. The expected cost of the project ranges from $50,000 to $100,000, and the city is identifying a source of funding.