Monday, July 27, 2020

Nashville Peace Monument restored following attack by vandals.

by Rod Willliams, 7/27/2020  - It is not only statues of Confederate generals that have been hit by vandals across America, targets have included founding fathers and Christopher Columbus and even Miguel de Cervantes the author of Don Quixote, and even abolitionist. If it is old and made of bronze or marble, it is a target.  I assume the thugs who do this are ignorant of what they are destroying and destroy just for the joy of destruction.

Here in Nashville, earlier this month the Nashville Peace Monument was vandalized. Luckily, it was
not toppled and destroyed.  The cost of repairing the damage was about $10,000. Repairs were just compleated. (link)

According to the the Battle of Nashville website, the Battle of Nashville Monument, often referred to as the “Peace Monument,” is a white granite and bronze monument which honors the sacrifices of both Confederate and Union soldiers who fought in the December 15-16,1864 Battle of Nashville, as well as the American soldiers who fought in the World War I (“The Great War”).

Owned by the Tennessee Historical Commission, the monument was commissioned by the Ladies’ Battlefield Association and sculpted by Giuseppe Moretti of Italy. It was originally located just off Franklin Pike and was dedicated on Armistice Day, 1927. That monument's 30-foot obelisk, was destroyed when toppled by a tornado in 1974.  That original location, though it was historically important lost its appeal after construction of a major interchange for Interstate 65 erased the view, both of and from, the original placement.

The monument was relocated to its current location in 1999. The current location is also historically relevant as is explained on the website.  A large “basket oak” tree verified to be a “Witness Tree” by the Tennessee Landmark and Historic Tree Registry is near the monument.

The monument shows two rearing steeds representing the North and the South yoked together by a young man symbolizing all Americans who fought in the Civil War and World War I. The word “UNITY” is inscribed on the banner with which he entwines the horses. The bronze sculpture was said to be fashioned out of melted cannon barrels.

The engraved inscription on the south face of the monument explains the bronze figures as follows: The Spirit Of Youth Holds In Check Contending Forces That Struggled Here In The Fierce Battle Of Nashville, Dec. 16th, 1864, Sealing Forever The Bond Of Union By The Blood Of Our Heroic Dead Of The World War 1917 – 1918.

It is a beautiful work of art and evokes a feeling of solemnness. If you have not visited it, it is a great place to just sit in quite contemplation or have a peaceful picnic lunch.  You may want to visit it soon. If the insurrection continues, the anarchist may destroy it next time they are on a rampage of destruction.  It is impossible to protect all of our many historic churches, building, monuments and works of art from attack. We can only hope that this madness ends soon.

To learn more about Nashville's monuments or make a contribution to the work of the Battle of Nashville Trust, visit this site.

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