New proposal for Forrest Park - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New proposal for Forrest Park

A well known Memphis businessman is stepping into the controversial debate over Nathan Bedford Forrest park.

Memphis lawyer and real estate developer Karl Schledwitz says it's time for the controversy over confederate parks to come to an end.

On Friday, Schledwitz sent a proposal to the Memphis City Council that would move the statue and graves of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife, and leave the University of Tennessee in charge of the park which would remain public.

"I don't think a city park should be used to promote a political agenda of anybody and I certainly don't think it's an appropriate burial site," Schledwitz said.

He says Elmwood Cemetary is an appropriate site. Forrest and his wife were originally buried here but were moved in 1905 to the base of the Forrest monument in the park. Now Schledwitz believes they need to go back.

"This is a way to preserve the history, but in a proper setting, in the proper venue," Schledwitz said.

Moving the graves would take a court order and means the city would have to file a lawsuit to get it done. Schledwitz says he's found a law firm to represent the city, free of charge. But at least one group is already set to fight any litigation.

Lee Millar with the Sons of Confederate Veterans says moving the graves violates history.

One thing to keep in mind, this proposal does not take into account the issue of renaming the other Confederate parks. This proposal was just mailed to council members Friday, so they have yet to review it.

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