MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – The violence 550 miles away in Charlottesville has people in Middle Tennessee rallying for peace while wondering if a similar situation could happen in their own town.
On Sunday, several dozen people gathered outside the Rutherford County Courthouse to send a message of peace. Gatherers prayed and sang in the peaceful assembly.
Many cities, like Murfreesboro, have statues honoring Confederate soldiers and their place in the Civil War.
“You know, it is complicated because of how far the roots go here in the south but, you know, I’m for removing it. I just don’t think we can allow people to use those as images to rally behind anymore,” said Michael Baggarly, a father who brought his two children to the rally.
Not far from the gathering, there’s a statue topped with a Confederate soldier. Several people, including Congressional District 4 candidate Mariah Phillips, told News 2 that cities across the south should begin the process of removing the statues on public property.
“We should not have monuments that perpetuate hate in our communities and I think that is something we need to think about how we move forward on that in public places,” she said.”
Many speakers spoke about their reaction to the clashes in Charlottesville.
Phillips said the main message of the gathering was to stand in solidarity with the people who fought back against the violence in Virginia and to remember those who died.
“It is important that we recognize the importance of community and those we are all part of this community, here in Rutherford county, across the state of Tennessee. We are all part of this community, we all deserve to be here, we all deserve to have our voices heard,” said Phillips.
The rally turned to a candlelight vigil and crowds began singing to symbolize unity.