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Memorial should serve useful purpose

We believe that Denton’s Confederate soldier memorial should be altered to help it serve a more useful purpose.

The monument honors Denton County residents who served in the Civil War, but we don’t believe that it provides an accurate history lesson in its present state.

The addition of plaques and other updates to the granite structure could not only add important information about county residents who fought and died in the Confederate cause, but the story could be expanded to include information about those who served the Union cause, as well.

It’s high time that the complete story of Denton County’s role in that conflict was told.

While it may be true that more Texans fought for the South than for the North, many Southerners did fight for the Union and some of them settled here after the war and their descendants call Denton County home today.

Don’t they deserve a mention in our historical chronicles?

We’ve never believed that the monument was erected to glorify a lost cause; rather, it stands to pay tribute to the sacrifices of those who served.

If done properly, the monument’s message could serve as a reminder of the high toll of war, both on the battlefield and on the home front.

The monument’s artistry could be retained if the alterations were done by qualified historians and its enhanced message could help it more accurately tell a vital part of Texas history.

We also believe that such a compromise might help ease hard feelings about the monument that have developed in recent weeks.

As interest over this piece of history has escalated, residents have expressed themselves with raised voices, protest signs, graffiti and even a gun, and we expect that those who feel strongly about this issue will remain committed to their cause.

Some think the monument should be taken down, but we believe such action would do a disservice to history.

In our view, compromise would be a better choice and could benefit our entire community.

Denton County residents have served honorably in a variety of armed conflicts through the years — many continue to serve our nation today — and we believe that their contributions deserve to be recognized.

Refinements to the monument to bring Civil War history into balance would pay tribute to those who served during that era and make it more meaningful now and well into the future.

We need to shed light on the issues that divided our nation during the Civil War and accurately detail the role that Denton County residents from all walks of life played in the conflict.

Expanding the monument’s story by adding plaques detailing more extensive historical information could give it new relevance and purpose.