“Your Letters” Opinion Piece; “Another monument can go up without Columbus coming down”

A recent letter to the editor was published on Syracuse.com with thoughts on the future of Columbus Circle.

To the Editor:

Syracuse.com published a letter from Women of Italian and Syracuse Heritage supporting the mayor’s decision to remove the Monument from Columbus Circle (”Relocating Columbus statue will allow for a deeper retelling of history,” Aug. 10, 2021). They write: “As the Columbus Monument finds a new, respected home, the history of the monument and the heritage of the Italian people can be told in a more detailed and thoughtful manner.” It’s simply amazing that the monument needs to find a new, respected home when it is standing on one of the most respected home in all of Syracuse, at the heart of Columbus Circle, also known as St. Mary’s Circle. Their premise is: “The statue’s relocation will offer opportunities for learning the deeper story of the Italian people of Syracuse, the Onondaga people who tended this land for thousands of years, and the dozens of communities of people from around the globe that make Syracuse the vibrant, culturally diverse city that it now is.” One wonders if they even read what they wrote before they submitted it.
Here’s an unanswered question: If they want to build a monument celebrating the Onondaga people and the dozens of communities from around the globe — why don’t they go ahead and build one? This is not a zero-sum game; that to add one you need to remove one. There are plenty of places in the city, the county or on the Nation itself where they could build their monument — but this feels like spite and, on its face, makes no sense at all. It is why I am submitting a response to Mayor Ben Walsh’s Columbus Circle Action Committee and ask that you give the supporters of the monument equal time to have a public debate this issue. – Kevin L. Kane

syracuse.com, 8/9/2021

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