March 8, 2011
Sen. Bryan Taylor,
I am a resident of your district and actually a neighbor of yours in the Eastwood subdivision in Prattville. I am a member of the local Sons of Confederate Veterans and have come to understand that one of Governor Bentley’s proposed budget cuts would defund the Confederate Memorial Park in Marbury. This year is the Sesquicentennial of the founding of the Confederate States of America and the War Between the States and as such an important historical period, continued state support to preserve our shared historical legacy is critically important even in the face of budget belt tightening.
While drastic state budget cuts are necessary, cutting off funding of an important historical site such as the Confederate Memorial Park seems to smack of political correctness especially in light of recognition that the Confederate Memorial Park is supported by an independent stream of income established by legislative act, The Soldiers' fund, established by the legislature in 1899 for Confederate veterans and later, widows and amended in 1975 to fund the Confederate Memorial Park. We believe these funds designated for this important Confederate historical site should not be diverted to the Department of Archives or anywhere else, since the law was specifically written to support the Confederate veterans and the Memorial Park.
Alabama and many states are in dire financial straits with the dismal economy and budget cuts should be made but defunding an important Confederate memorial historical site in the year of the Sesquicentennial of the founding of the CSA is incomprehensible and irresponsible. Thirty thousand Alabama Confederate veterans who died in the War Between the States should be remembered and honored in such an important milestone in our history. The elimination or consolidation of the three state Confederate holidays is the last thing which should happen in this Sesquicentennial year; rather, a renewed emphasis should be made to recognize these days especially in the current political environment when States Rights are so very important in limiting the intrusion of an overbearing federal government on all our lives.
I appreciate your attention and support in these matters of important historical recognition for our Confederate forefathers.