Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Miller: No Body Negates City Contract

Although Cookeville City Council members thought they put the issue of a Confederate monument behind them, it appears Councilman Mark Miller will raise the issue again.

Miller said the Sons of Confederate Veterans are in violation of a section of its 2000 contract with the Cookeville City Cemetery. He said he plans to raise the issue at Thursday’s council meeting.

“I do plan on bringing this up tomorrow night,” Miller said. “And I do want to make the community aware of this situation and make sure that if we cannot get something done, then the next generation may be able to accomplish removing, as I see it, it’s a symbol of hate.”

The part of the contract Miller feels is in violation is section A of the Cookeville City Cemetery’s agreement with the Dillard-Judd Camp of the SCV. That section says that the group’s ownership of Lot 10 of the Old Douglas section of the cemetery has to be used for no other purpose than the internment of a human body.

“Subsection A of the agreement states that the plot should be utilized for the internment of the human dead,” Miller said. “There’s no internment of any body at that plot.”

Attached to the city’s certificate with the SCV, there is a signed agreement stating the Dillard-Judd Camp “has the written consent of the Cookeville City Cemetery to erect a memorial monument” on its lot at the cemetery, contingent on the placement of two memorial trees. City Manager James Mills said Tuesday that it is his understanding that the SCV has placed the two trees and has adhered to the document.

Miller said he disagrees with Mills assessment.

“There is a disagreement there,” Miller said. “There is a section on the back of the agreement that states that they are allowed to place a monument and two trees there, but they are still in violation of subsection A.”

As long as a human body is not interred in the space, Miller said he feels the contract is invalid and monument should be removed.

 

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