While other Confederate statues and monuments are forcefully being taken down across the United States, one state is unveiling a new one.
In Alabama, over 500 people showed up to see the reveal of the monument titled “Unknown Alabama Confederate Soldiers” at the Confederate Veterans Memorial Park on private land, NBC reported. The land was located in the town of Brantley.
On the tombstone monument the quote “Mother, I have been found. I am home” is written.
In honor of the reveal, five cannons were fired, WVTM reported.
Children of Confederate Veterans also attended the ceremony, along with civil war period re-enactors.
The owner and developer of the private site, David Coggins said he did have some concerns about the timing of the unveiling, in wake of the Charlottesville rallies protesting the removal of Confederate statues honoring generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
“There are people who are opposed to what we do,” Coggins told NBC affiliate WSFA. But he said the timing of the new monument was only a coincidence and that “our intentions are good.”
“This was planned several months ago,” Coggins told WSFA. “Matter of fact, the monument was ordered last year, and it’s taken this long to get it in the ground and ready to unveil.”
Despite people’s negative impressions of Confederate supporters, who are often labelled as supporting racism, Coggins insisted that the monuments have nothing to do with race.
“There’s nothing racist about us,” he told WSFA. “We’re not white supremacists.
“As a matter of fact, we have members in our organization who are black,” he said. “We have Hispanic members. We have Native American members. We have members from all over and all nationalities, and they shouldn’t be concerned about any sign of offense here from us, because we honor all of those veterans.”
The owner said he plans to add more monuments as well.
While other states such as New York and Los Angeles have been tearing down Confederate monuments, Alabama has also taken steps in a similar fashion—just this month, Birmingham Mayor William Bell blocked a century-old Confederate moment from view using a large wood wall in Linn Park, NBC reported.