Secession monument at park off the table

A monument to S.C. secession signers will not go to Waterfront Park, North Charleston's mayor has decided.

TOM SPAIN

North Charleston's offer to allow a monument to the signers of South Carolina's 1860 Ordinance of Secession at Riverfront Park has been withdrawn.

Instead, Mayor Keith Summey said the memorial should go to the H.L. Hunley lab, or to the North Charleston site where the sub's museum will eventually be built.

A week after offering the S.C. Sons of Confederate Veterans space at Riverfront Park, Summey today squashed the deal, saying it had become too polarizing a subject across the city.

"The Civil War is a part of our history, both good and bad, and I believe that it should be acknowledged, taught and openly discussed," Summey said. "However, some who stand on both sides of this issue have attempted to divide our council and our city along racial lines."

The mayor also said he apologized to any member of City Council who was put in a bad position for the invitation he'd given to the SCV.

Last week, Summey said he made the offer after the Patriots Point board declined SCV officials space on their property in Mount Pleasant. The SCV wants the monument to be a memorial to the men who voted to leave the Union, hoping to have it ready in time for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

After Summey announced his original offer, it triggered a wave of phone calls to City Hall, both pro and con.

Read more in tomorrow's Post and Courier.