Civil War expert discusses controversial monument removal

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UAH Civil War History Professor, Dr. John Kvach and WHNT News 19's Steve Johnson

Historical monuments from the Civil War have become extremely  controversial in recent years. Several cities across the country have moved or taken down certain monuments entirely.

Recent legislation in Alabama was passed to preserve historical monuments and named buildings. The new Alabama law prohibits the removal and alteration of monuments over 40 years old. It also prohibits renaming of schools that have carried a person’s name for over 40 years.

Does any war around the world that ended more than a 150-years ago, still create the same passion as our Civil War? In this week’s Leadership Perspectives interview, WHNT News 19’s Steve Johnson put that question to UAH Civil War History Professor, Dr. John Kvach.

“There’s opportunity for someone like me, or someone that’s in education, to be able to teach. A teachable moment is an important moment, and I think that’s important that with downtown monuments, like the one in Huntsville,” explained Professor Kvach. “There’s an opportunity to walk my students by that and have a talk, not just about the monument, but the meaning behind it, the movement behind it. Really start a dialog about why it is where it is. In that sense I’m for leaving everything where it is. But there’s also another aspect, where when you tear someone’s monument down, don’t be shocked when someone comes behind you at some point and tear your monument down……..When you start scrubbing history, you’re going down a slippery slope of where does it end?”

View our entire conversation with John Kvach here: