MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Today the Alabama Senate approved a plan sponsored by Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) to protect Alabama’s historical monuments. The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act will protect state history for the benefit of future generations by prohibiting the removal or renaming of any statue, memorial, or monument that is over twenty years old and located on public property, including state, county, and city properties.
“The goal of this bill is to protect all periods of Alabama’s history for our children and grandchildren to learn from,” said Allen. “Too often, in convulsions of political correctness, a local official will hastily rip down a monument or a statue because it offends the sensibilities of someone, somewhere.
“History isn’t always pleasant and our forbearers have not always acted with honor. But healing in the present is not found by erasing the past,” Allen continued. “Only if our past is understood and remembered may we be inspired by its examples of heroism, and yes, sobered by its episodes of oppression. This proposal prevents the hasty and thoughtless destruction of historical markers so that we and our descendants may continue to learn from the past, in order to create a better future.”
The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act will establish a standing committee to hear waiver requests from cities and counties. If the committee doesn’t respond to a waiver request within 90 days, the waiver is automatically approved. Artifacts under the control of museums, archives, libraries, and universities are specifically exempt from the prohibition against removal or alteration.
“Over the past year, I have had numerous discussions with other legislators, historians, and interested citizens, and this bill reflects their input,” Allen remarked. “My intent is to preserve memorials to all of Alabama’s history – including the Civil War, the World Wars, and the Civil Rights movement – for generations to come.”
The Memorial Preservation Act now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senator Gerald Allen represents District 21 in the Alabama State Senate, which is comprised of all or parts of Tuscaloosa, Pickens, and Lamar Counties. He is chairman of the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee. Follow him on Twitter for his latest legislative updates: @SenGeraldAllen