In 1876, officials in Cortland, New York unveiled a bronze and granite Union soldier monument to commemorate the county’s participation in the American Civil War. Over time, the monument’s meanings and importance changed, and in 2013, Cortland officials began an attempt to move it out of the way for a music stage. This case study illustrates how Union monuments (similarly to Confederate monuments) represented local pride, masculine ideals, racial beliefs, and community values. Over time, however, original purposes faded from memory. By debating whether or not the statue should stay or move, Cortland reimagined the monument’s significance to its past, present, and future.

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