Lexington moving forward after statue relocation

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- The controversial confederate statues removed from downtown Lexington in the fall will have 24 hour security at their new home.

The statues were moved out of storage Tuesday and into the Lexington Cemetery.

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Just hours after the cemetery opened for the first time with John C. Breckinridge and John Hunt Morgan’s statues on display, Ed Clark brought his granddaughters to see them. This is personal.

Clark says his uncle rode with John Hunt Morgan during the Civil War.

When the council voted in the fall to remove the statues, Clark fought against it.

“We were badly outnumbered. The council voted 12-0 to do it,” Clark said.

“What’s that say to you?” ABC 36’s Veronica Jean Seltzer asked.

“This town’s got a whole lot of liberals in it,” Clark said.

He says he’s okay with this spot, though. It’s where both men are buried.

“I wish the statues had been a little higher like they were downtown where people couldn’t reach up on them,” Clark said.

Vandalism was something on many people’s minds when talking about moving the statues. The cemetery’s grounds crews tell ABC 36 that’s why cameras were installed as part of its deal with the city. They’re solar powered and able to be monitored 24/7.

“I hope it helps,” Clark said.

To clark, moving the statues won’t change anything about Cheapside Park.

“You shouldn’t try to change history. It’s part of our lives,” Clark said.

DeBraun Thomas says his group, Take Back Cheapside, wasn’t trying to change history when it fought to have the statues removed.

“We need to make sure that folks don’t ever forget this and that we all continue to move forward together to make up for the sins of the past,” Thomas said.

He added many people didn’t realize monuments of two men who fought to uphold slavery were standing on a former slave auction block.

Now, the statues are surrounded by information about the Civil War.

Thomas says it’s a relief and the end of the first step towards making the city more inclusive.

No tax dollars were used to move the statues. All the money came from donations