Syracuse, N.Y. — For nearly nine decades, crowds have gathered for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Columbus monument in downtown Syracuse on the holiday that bears the explorer’s name.
But today, the event will take place under the pall of a contentious lawsuit about the monument’s future, pitting a group of high-profile area residents against the city’s mayor.
The Columbus Monument Corp. – the group that holds the annual ceremony – sued the city and Mayor Ben Walsh in May over the mayor’s plan to take down the Columbus statue that sits atop the monument. The group argues that Walsh doesn’t have the legal authority to remove the statue from the downtown plaza known as Columbus Circle.Syracuse.com, 10/11/2021
Hours after the wreath-laying, two other groups who don’t think Columbus deserves a holiday or a statue because of his treatment of Native Americans are holding an observance at the same monument.