Members of the Old Guard of the Gate City Guard, the organization that originally dedicated the Peace Monument and presented it to the City of Atlanta in 1911, were saddened to learn of this Sunday’s vandalism to Atlanta’s Peace Monument in Piedmont Park.
As many in the Atlanta press have already noted, the Peace Monument was presented to the City of Atlanta 46 years after the Civil War to commemorate Atlanta’s Gate City Guard for their Mission of Peace in 1879 to rebuild and reconcile with the North during America’s Reconstruction era. It was not a Confederate Monument. It was a Peace Monument.
We understand the current tensions and strife sweeping our country today, but to deface a piece of history that actually promoted peace after the Civil War is disheartening.
A reading of the plaque on the back of the monument lists the Northern Governors, Mayors, and Northern Militias who attended the dedication along with 40,000 citizens of Atlanta.
The damage done to the monument was on the Angel of Peace. She was spray painted with red paint and the olive branch in her hand was broken off. A note was left on a wall that said, “No Justice, No Peace”
We strongly urge the Mayor and the office of Cultural Affairs to repair the damage and restore the memorial as a positive message of peace and reconciliation – a message as important today as it was in 1911. You can find a history of the Peace Monument on our web site for the Old Guard of the Gate City Guard.