People react to vandalism, removal of Confederate monument at Green Hill Cemetery

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — A Confederate monument is missing from a historic Greensboro cemetery.

The statue’s sudden removal drew in curious crowds on Wednesday afternoon.

Some people told FOX8 there is a big push to move statues to cemeteries instead of keeping them in front of courthouses and in public areas. But now, with this recent vandalism happening in a sacred place, they’re concerned.

A statue once stood on a crumbling pedestal in the middle of the historic Green Hill Cemetery.

At least half a dozen people stopped by to see where the monument once stood.

“I guess I wanted to see for myself,” said Dennis Manness, who came to the cemetery, camera in hand.

The Confederate monument marked the mass graves of 300 Confederate soldiers.

“Unlike other monuments that are in front of the courthouses and in the main part of cities… that bothers me,” said Manness. “But not as bad as one that’s in a cemetery, that’s supposed to be memorializing the dead. It’s gone. And it upsets me.”

Greensboro police say sometime overnight on July 2 or 3, the statue was vandalized and torn down.

People drove to the missing monument, saying they wanted to pay their respects.

A couple of the visitors told FOX8 the monument that City of Greensboro officials had moved to storage memorialized their ancestors.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans organization owns the monument and chose not to return it to the cemetery.

“That’s kind of sad. As sad as just getting torn down the first time,” Manness said. “They probably didn’t want to put it back up, because they are afraid if they did, it would be torn down again.”

A spokesperson with the Sons of Confederate Veterans tells FOX8 they “condemn in the strongest language the vandalism directed against the Confederate monument and the desecration of Confederate graves.”

They added, “We demand law enforcement to find and prosecute the criminals who are responsible. Markers in cemeteries are covered by North Carolina law and law must be enforced.”

Greensboro police say the vandalism is still under investigation.

The person or people responsible could be facing some kind of damage to property charges.

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