A controversial soldier memorial from Knoxville, Iowa, will now be moved to a private property after receiving 3-2 votes from the Knoxville City Council just last Monday night.
According to Brian Hatch, the Knoxville mayor, he said that the silhouette monument that was placed several months ago with a soldier kneeling on the cross was placed on the Youngs Park without permission.
“The city did not go take it down because at the point we didn’t feel like it had any more significance than as a monument to honor the veterans,” he said.
The state initially received a complaint from an anonymous person in Knoxville, saying that the monument was a violation of the separation of church and state and that it was placed on government property. This was then later backed by a national group, the Washington, D.C.- based Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, who threatened to sue the city if there had been no action regarding the matter because of the religious symbol.
Mayor Brian Hatch then later on said: "I hope it brings some closure to it," right after the Monday vote. "I hope we can kind of achieve the best of both worlds. We avoid a costly lawsuit and at the same time we still have the silhouette memorial up honoring the veterans, right across the road, hopefully, on private property."
However, many local residents of the area are against the move. A Facebook page called “Stop the Insanity” was created to support the memorial, which has around 2,769 followers. They also urged the community to vote against the two council members, saying: "If they don't support our community, why support them?"
A Knoxville resident named Doug Goff also says that he hopes the silhouette in Young's Park will remain alive. He also supports the suggestions to write his name as an alternative to Hatch, who is running for re-election with no competitors, winning with 90.3 percent of the votes, according to the Tuesday night’s tally.