We made the national news again with the mowing down of the just-erected monument featuring the Ten Commandments made famous by Moses in the Book of Exodus and repeated again in the Book of Deuteronomy.
For the second time, Michael Tate Reed, decided he didn’t care much for the new monument, so he jumped in his Dodge Dart and put the pedal to the metal and took that sucker out.
It made me wonder what other monuments are on the State Capitol grounds, so I did a little investigating at the Secretary of State’s website. There they all are, except the Ten Commandments, which hadn’t even been posted yet because it wasn’t 24 hours old when it was destroyed.
Let’s take a quick tour:
Monument to Confederate Soldiers
Dedicated in 1905.
C.G. “Crip” Hall and Kelly Bryant Markers
Two small markers within the grand promenade landscape pay homage to two long-time secretaries of state.
Monument to Confederate Women
Dedicated in 1913.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
This memorial was dedicated in 1987. The granite monument bears the names of over 400 Arkansans killed or mortally wounded during the conflict in Vietnam.
Medal of Honor Memorial
The monument honors Arkansas’s 25 Congressional Medal of Honor holders and was dedicated on November 18, 2000.
Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial
Dedicated in 1994, this shrine recalls Arkansas law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
War of 1812 Memorial Fountain
An obelisk, crowned by a round stone, memorializes 56 War of 1812 veterans who are buried in Arkansas. It was dedicated in 1971.
The Eternal Flame
This simple structure symbolizes the “Spirit of Freedom,” while the flame memorializes the founders of the American Legion.
War Prisoners’ Marker
During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate prisoners were held on Capitol grounds in the then-state prison. This undated marker is in memory of soldiers on both sides of that war who were imprisoned here.
This rock symbolizes the aluminum industry and was installed in 1943.
Granite Mountain Boulder
This marker commemorates a century of Arkansas’s statehood and was quarried from Granite Mountain, about five miles away.
Testament: The Little Rock Nine Monument
This sculptural grouping was dedicated in August 2005 to honor the courage of those students, known collectively as the Little Rock Nine. Quotations from each of the Nine are featured around the bronze figures.
American Revolution Bicentennial
A monument and fountain stand beneath a canopy, sheltering a replica of the Liberty Bell. The bell is one of 50 distributed to the states in 1950 after a successful Liberty Bond drive. The bond sale raised $6.5 billion to help pay the military costs of World War II. In 1977, the bell was incorporated into the present design along with the adjacent fountain to pay tribute to the “Spirit of ’76,”America’s bicentennial.
For more information on the monuments, visit www.sos.arkansas.gov.
The monuments listed above seem appropriate based on our history. The Ten Commandments never should have been placed on the grounds, although I don’t agree with Mr. Reed’s ’s method of taking it out. The Commandments play a fundamental role in three religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. And guess what? There isn’t complete agreement among theologians on which 10 are the 10.
Sen. Jason Rapert, one of the proponents of the monument, says that efforts will begin immediately to rebuild the monument. I won’t dignify some of his comments but you can bet your money this turns out to be more about Sen. Rapert than anything. The man loves the spotlight. He’ll be interesting to watch when the satanist people try to put their own monument on the Capitol grounds.
We may not admit it, but we’ve all probably broken one or more of the Commandments. Hopefully, we can be forgiven. This is Mr. Reed’s second time to take out a Commandment monument. He also did it in Oklahoma in 2014. Gotta be hard on his cars.
Thou shalt not do that again.
More bad news
In other national news, Little Rock is becoming the new Chicago, with regular drive-by shootings and Saturday morning’s nightclub shootings in which 27 people were injured and, miraculously, no one was killed. There’s no need for me to comment other than to say that the city leaders must step up and make the hard decisions to restore safety to the city. The discussions are just getting started and began with an awkward news conference featuring Little Rock’s city directors stuck behind the podium for what seemed way too long.
Another one bites the dust
Last week marked the closing of another newspaper, The Atkins Chronicle. I leave you with this excerpt from editor/publishers Paula and Billy Reeder’s farewell to th^eir readers:
“It could be argued that we are living in changing times and the closing of newspapers is simply part of the continuing move toward digital and television. That would be a true statement. But it also needs to be considered that far too often those digital and television outlets aren’t telling your community’s story. They’re not sitting in a school board meeting or hanging out in the courthouse or sharing what’s happening with your church’s Vacation Bible School. Local news outlets, like the Chronicle, do.”
Support your local newspapers.
See you on the Boulevard. Stop the violence.
Neal Moore is a public relations and advertising consultant and freelance writer. If you have a community concern, news tip or if you’re just irritated about something, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.