GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — On Monday, Michigan State Representative Luke Meerman released a statement supporting Allendale's controversial Civil War statue.
The statue sits in the park's Garden of Honor and depicts a slave child at the feet of a Union and Confederate Solider, reaching for freedom. It has been a point of contention for the township since June 2020.
"I support Allendale's efforts to put together a special committee but some have decided that this is not enough and have continued to break and destroy both the confederate and union soldier," said Meerman in a press release. "Civil discourse is welcomed and encouraged but it is inexcusable to respond to a civil disagreement with the destruction of public property."
Meerman continued to say that when some in the community raised concerns, Allendale Township Supervisor Adam Elenbaas responded openly and professionally.
The Township Board of Trustees held public meetings to listen to the community and Meerman applauded the Board for creating dialogue.
"Repeatedly, the Civil War statue has been vandalized and it is disappointing that some have chosen violence over dialogue. Violence from anyone is meant to intimidate and force a viewpoint and we cannot tolerate action such as this. I stand with Allendale against this wonton destruction. We as a community stand against this." Meerman said.
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