We don't want advertising dollars. Read more . King himself included Stone Mountain in his most famous speech, I Have a Dream. Republican Voters Don't Know Anything About Their Party. Please—no amount is too large or too small—pitch in to support our people-powered model and help Common Dreams start 2021 at full strength. The law also specifically protected the carving on Stone Mountain and was passed as part of a compromise over changing the state flag. Luke Letlow, 41, Louisiana's new rep, died after long going maskless and arguing we have to live with COVID. The KKK’s Mount Rushmore: the problem with Stone Mountain. STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — The Rev. But we can't do it alone. Michael Thurmond is the first and only African American on the board of Stone Mountain Parks, as well as the CEO of DeKalb County, where the carving stands. Please help keep Common Dreams alive by making a contribution. dealing with the monument is not top of her list of priorities. The Georgia code says the Confederate memorial should be “preserved and protected for all time as a tribute to the bravery and heroism of the citizens of this state who suffered and died in their cause.”. But we think the most important part of our mission is to inspire—and so we work hard to bring you the voices of visionaries who dream about how the world should be. It’s by far the biggest memorial to the Confederacy, and at 158ft tall is the largest stone carving of its kind in the world. Most days, visitors to the park are diverse, he points out. The march is to protest confederate monuments and recent police shootings. Common Dreams is a small non-profit - Over 90% of the Common Dreams budget comes from reader support. Of all the Confederate monuments under fire, the 1,700-foot high outcropping of granite with carvings of Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Jefferson Davis is—by far—the largest. Common Dreams brings you the news that matters. Supporters of the Ku Klux Klan march. As a movement grows to remove Confederate symbols across the US – including tearing down statues and lowering Confederate flags from state facilities – fresh attention is being paid to the biggest Confederate monument of all. The Sons of Confederate Veterans is an organization that staunchly defends Stone Mountain and other Confederate statues and emblems. As recently as 2015 – even before President Donald Trump invited white nationalists to the White House, and failed to condemn white nationalists in Charlottesville – a pro-Confederate flag rally at Stone Mountain drew hundreds of people. Fierce independent media is needed now more than ever. No advertising; no paywalls: our content is free. It was 1963, at the height of the KKK’s re-emergence, and just as the final design for Stone Mountain's scultpure was being approved. “Good or bad, history is history. Grim times. And it sits inside Stone Mountain state park, just east of downtown Atlanta, only a few miles from the birthplace of Martin Luther King. T he Stone Mountain carving is a monument to men who fought to defend slavery and white supremacy. It is the biggest Confederate monument in the US – civil war leaders hewn into Atlanta’s Stone Mountain. The act of the KKK burning crosses, which caused terror and threatened violence, might not have been a big deal to Coletti’s neighbours, but others would strongly disagree with that view. Stacey Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives and the Democratic nominee for governor in 2018, declared during her unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign that the granite carving is “a blight on our state” and called for its removal. Not until the establishment desegregated in the 1960s, after a sit-in that included King, did Brown, then in her twenties, step foot inside. Slavery wasn’t right but you can’t go in the textbook and remove it or take it out, ever,” she said. ‘It's OK to be ourselves’: Atlanta’s black LGBT community, Black 'reverse migration' driving Atlanta and Georgia towards Democrats, Available for everyone, funded by readers. Desmond Hardy, who grew up in Stone Mountain, agrees. 0 have signed. Ideally, they should be removed by state and local governments, not demonstrators; if governments remove them, rather than protestors, society's … There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist. Photograph: Paul Harris/Getty, “It’s outlandish, it’s absurd, it’s ridiculous,” said Joseph Crespino, professor of history at Emory University in Atlanta, of the monument, “given our change in voice, our change in values, our understanding of the moral limitations … or just our understanding of history.”, “The Confederacy and the cause of the Confederacy is not something that we want to celebrate today.”. After the memorial was complete, “a ‘neo-Confederate theme park’ emerged around the site, including a plantation house, a “Gone With the Wind” museum, according to a report from the Atlanta History Center, The New York Times reported. That's Very Bad for American Democracy... Why Americans Should Demand Better Us Middle East Policy, 7 Ways Women of Colour Resisted Racism This Year, So Long! (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images). Indeed, not all prominent black politicians and activists agree about the monument. Stone Mountain, he argues, “speaks not to Atlanta, per se, but to the state of Georgia, which every year tries to proclaim a Confederate History Month”. She says she doesn’t understand why some prominent African American civil rights activists and politicians want to remove it. But our costs are real.Please, make one of your most important contributions of the year--now. FILE PHOTO: A woman speaks in front of the monument after protesters marched against the Confederate Monument carved into granite at Stone Mountain Park in Stone Mountain… If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Today, The Confederate Carving on Stone Mountain has been re-branded with laser shows, animated with colored beams of lights. While thousands have called for the monument’s removal, experts from the Atlanta Geological Society say, it would cost millions to obliterate the carving with explosives due to its size and location. And how different the past has been,” he says. The planet’s largest Confederate monument—Stone Mountain outside of Atlanta, Georgia—is the new national flashpoint in the growing campaign to rid public spaces of memorials to racist historical figures. When he was a child, the KKK’s burning crosses could be seen on Stone Mountain from neighborhoods around Atlanta – and he says that in his community it wasn’t considered to be a big deal. /1 — Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) August 15, … PLEASE GIVE NOW. Someone spent a lot of time. Independent journalism and democracy itself have never been more needed yet more fragile and at risk than now. Some of the white tourists on a recent visit agreed with Thurmond, including Margie Legg, 67, visiting her daughter from Maryland. It doesn't work that way. His mother had to hire a genealogist in order to prove that her Lebanese roots defined her as Caucasian, so that the KKK would allow her to attend the white school. But the politics of the issue are difficult – not least because you can’t easily take down a sculpture carved into side of a mountain – and more recently Abrams has said that although she stands by her position, dealing with the monument is not top of her list of priorities. Our End-of-Year Campaign Ends TONIGHT And We Are Short $18,000, Our journalists work hard to inform by bringing you the news that matters - which is often about how the world is. #BlackLivesMatter protest at Stone Mountain Park, a popular KKK gathering site, in Georgia. Ferrell Brown, a white pastor at a suburban Atlanta megachurch, stood on the big bald top of Stone Mountain on a warm Saturday morning, sharing a … ", Stone Mountain, Georgia: The Flashpoint Now at Center of Confederate Monument Removals. It would be hard to do, both physically and legally, but boy, would it be satisfying. Twitter: "Let the party of personal responsibility take some. Stone Mountain: is it time to remove America's biggest Confederate memorial? We need you. “Confederate monuments belong in museums where we can study and reflect on that terrible history, not in places of honor across our state,” she wrote. Confederate figures carved in Stone Mountain. (Borglum later created the Mount Rushmore sculpture.) The only thing that keeps us going is support from readers like you. Our Mission:To inform. What is Guardian Atlanta week – and how can you get involved? “And if America is to be a great nation,” said King, “So let freedom ring … Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.”. But I couldn’t. Because of people like you, another world is possible. Covering more than 17,000 square feet of mountain and 40 feet deep in the crannies, the carving—at nine-stories high—is the largest flat relief sculpture in the world. To Win Georgia and the Senate, Democrats Need to Go All-In on $15 Minimum Wage, Wanna Win Georgia, Democrats? “What’s the point? As U.S.COVID deaths spiral near 350,000, we hit daily records, hospitals overflow and the U.K.'s lethal new strain turns up, the murderous bunglers in charge have vaccinated just 2 million of a promised 20 million Americans. Common Dreams has been providing breaking news & views for the progressive community since 1997. Some Georgia residents argue the statue must be removed, … A law was first passed in 2001 to prohibit the removal or destruction of military monuments. Removing the monument would take a lot of dynamite and require a change in state law. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. “As a historian, I’d like to see it preserved as a historical artifact, so that future generations can remember how deluded older generations were. “But the day they passed the bill that I could go in, I dressed up my daughter and I went to the Magnolia Room and I sat in there and ate. Committee on Stone Mountain started this petition to Stone Mountain Memorial Association State of Georgia and 26 others. Brown’s uncle was James Venable’s handyman. After the Charlottesville violence at the Unite the Right rally last August, Abrams condemned the carving in a series of tweets. The origins of the sculpture date back to 1915, when 15 men burned a cross atop the mountain and marked the founding of the modern Ku Klux Klan, Samuel Venable, a Klansman and quarry operator who owned the property, deeded its north face to the, A Klansman - sculptor Gutzon Borglum - was commissioned and started work, but quit in 1925. It’s an artistic piece. There's no bigger monument to the Confederacy than a towering sculpture carved into the side of Stone Mountain, Georgia. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to close the books on 2020 and reach our End-Of-Year fundraising goal.Common Dreams is a small non-profit - Over 90% of the Common Dreams budget comes from reader support. DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Demonstrators marched at Stone Mountain Park in DeKalb County Saturday to demand the removal of the Confederate memorials there. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. Some Georgia residents argue the statue must be removed, others that it is a part of history that needs to be protected. Thank you. Funding for the project came primarily from the Ku Klux Klan, which regularly met on the mountain to burn crosses and the project's first directors and promoters were KKK members. On Saturday, a predominantly Black group of heavily armed protesters marched through the park, calling for removal of the giant Confederate rock carving at the site considered a monument to racism. Stone Mountain ist ein großer Granitfels bei Stone Mountain, Georgia, einem Vorort von Atlanta. The removal of the bas relief of Confederates from Stone Mountain has been a constant debate since the state bought the property in 1958. “Why are people trying to take away history?”. “I wanted to go in there and eat so bad. Please help. It applied to monuments related to the military and war of the United States, Confederate States or any state. ATLANTA (Reuters) - Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, a nine-story-high bas-relief sculpture carved into a sprawling rock face northeast of Atlanta, is perhaps the South's most audacious monument to its pro-slavery legacy still intact. The Black militia is calling for the removal of the Confederate monument etched into Stone Mountain, GA. Box 443Portland, ME 04112-0443USA, Common Dreams is a small nonprofit with a big mission. To remain an independent news source, we do not advertise, sell subscriptions or accept corporate contributions. So I don’t see the point in making a big deal out of it.”, Legg said she was not aware that the carving had been made so recently, in the last half of the 20th century; she thought it had been there much longer. No advertising; no paywalls: our content is free. Let’s get to 10,000! He said the cheering at the Confederate figures in the laser show had upset him, the memorial needs to be removed and that “this land is bloodstained with the blood and bones of our ancestors”. She calls it a reminder of her life, of her family’s history in the south, of her experience as an African American woman – and a sign of history that should not be erased. In 1915, the United Daughters of the Confederacy gathered and hired sculptor Gutzon Borglum to design a confederate monument, the Associated Press reported. New York Times Joins Trump's Anti-China Crusade... Should You Be Worried About the New COVID Strains? Der populäre Uluṟu (auch Ayers Rock genannt) würde Stone Mountain zwar von der Größe her eigentlich auf den dritten Platz verweisen, ist aber entgegen landläufiger Meinung kein Monolith. Dedicated to teaching the “Southern Cause,” according to its website, it believes their removal is akin to purging American history. To inspire.To ignite change for the common good. Granite from the … “[T]he visible image of Stone Mountain's edifice remains a blight on our state and should be removed.”. "We must never celebrate those who defended slavery and tried to destroy the union," Abrams said. The south, he says, was a "failed experiment in white supremacy". And it didn’t end there. The owner of the land was a Klansman, as was the original sculptor (who also created Mount Rushmore). Er ist nach einigen Angaben der größte freiliegende Granitfels der Welt und, nach Mount Augustus, auch der zweitgrößte Monolith. Your generosity is crucial to our survival. Planning of the monument began only in 1914. A Brief History of a 15-Million-Year-Old Mountain The Stone Mountain quarries were excavated for their granite in the late 1800s. Stone Mountain, GA — Around 100 protestors on June 16 marched from the city of Stone Mountain, Ga., to the Confederate Memorial Carving in Stone Mountain Park to advocate for the removal of Confederate monuments. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder, Support Independent Journalism. Instead, we rely on readers like you, to provide the "people power" that fuels our work. “People need to let things go, people need to forget about that part of it.”. Picnic baskets abound when the sun is out, and hikers crawl up past the carving. The world's largest Confederate memorial will reopen in Georgia this Independence Day despite renewed calls for its removal after weeks of anti-racism protests. The engraving would need a change in state law to remove it, and Professor Crespino would like to see that happen immediately – though he doesn’t want it destroyed. But that didn’t change her opinion. You can’t erase the fact of history. Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. “The United States has allowed [Stone Mountain] to exist but it’s become a pain point. Nor is the carving only representative of a time past. Although African Americans appeared to account for the vast majority of the marchers, protesters of various races, men and women alike, were among the group. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters. All rights reserved. “Michael Thurmond is doing a lot to help blacks understand what’s going on out here” on Stone Mountain, Coletti said. Stone Mountain is a massive geological aberration. An estimated 400 - 1000 armed black panthers marching. Removing the monument would take a lot of dynamite and require a change in state law. “They continued the practices of white supremacy after the war,” Rose said. It was also started by the Ku Klux Klan. I don’t even remember [what I ate],” she said with a laugh. “It can serve as a kind of reminder about the folly of humanity and our ability to be deceived – to be so clueless as to create this kind of memorial to a cause that was clearly unjust.”, Guardian Cities is live in Atlanta for a special series of in-depth reporting. President Trump’s unyielding push to preserve Confederate symbols and the legacy of white domination was crystallized by his harsh denunciation of the racial justice movement Friday night at Mount Rushmore. - Craig Brown, Co-founder. Black Lives Matter protesters gather in front of the Confederate carving in Stone Mountain Park on June 16, 2020 in Stone Mountain, Georgia. But with its links to the Ku Klux Klan, and as Confederate memorials are being torn down, is Stone Mountain's time up? We want the world to be a better place. The Stone Mountain monument is a reminder of “white supremacy”, a “racist” history that cannot be cast simply as southern confederate heritage, said The Official Grand Master Jay, NFAC founder and lead organizer of a protest march over the July 4th weekend, told ABC News. Please support Common Dreams End-of-Year Campaign TODAY! Shortly therafter the UDC ran out of money and the sculpture was shelved, In 1958, the state of Georgia bought Stone Mountain in order to create a Confederate memorial park, In 1963, the state resumed work on the Confederate sculpture – the same year Dr Martin Luther King proclaimed in his famous I Have A Dream speech, “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!”, Work continued on the sculpture through the 1960s, even as Atlanta emerged as a centre of the civil rights movement, The sculpture was unveiled in 1970, and in recent years a laser light show has been projected on to the face. We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported. Photograph: Michael Rabideau/Getty. Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Its huge 3D video projection (“taller than the Statue of Liberty!”) pulls out all the stops – depicting patriotic icons from bald eagles to Mickey Mouse to towering letters spelling U-S-A, with lots of fiery explosions and a rousing musical score with at least eight separate key changes. Share your experiences of the city in the comments below, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #GuardianATL, or via email to cities@theguardian.com. Thank you. Please support our nonprofit journalism. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. Lead organizer Quintavious Rhodes told the crowd, “These monuments they … Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, often called “the granddaddy of all Confederate monuments,” is once again at the center of an ongoing debate over … Feel free to republish and share widely. So it is perhaps surprising that she thinks the monument should stay. The group, known as the Not F***ing Around Coalition (NFAC) was comprised of several hundred people, all dressed in black. While thousands have called for the monument’s removal, experts from the Atlanta Geological Society say, it would cost millions to obliterate the carving with explosives due to its size and location. Every contribution makes a huge difference. The mountain, known for its massive Confederate memorial carving, was the location of the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan in 1915. Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, a nine-story-high bas-relief sculpture carved into a sprawling rock face northeast of Atlanta, is perhaps the South’s most audacious monument to its pro-slavery legacy still intact. The official website boasts that “the Lasershow is now so spectacular, the FAA must be consulted to ensure airplanes don’t become blinded by lasers.”. Khushbu Shah in Atlanta, GA. Videography by Tom Silverstone, The Lasershow Spectacular (™) is a celebration of brand America. For the First Time, the Progressive Caucus Will Have Real Power, How Past Economic Policies Influenced Racism of Today, Bright Spots on Climate to End a Dark Year, Welcome To Operation Warped Denial of Reality. The scale of the monument, which was only finished in 1972, probably can’t be fully appreciated until it is seen firsthand. Looking out from the park’s Memorial Hall towards the carving, past a crew of workers building a 400ft ski slope replete with fake snow, the 65-year-old veteran politician argued that the monument is a "memorial to the myth of the lost cause". “[The carving] presents an opportunity to teach this generation and the next generation how movements based on racism, based on bias and prejudice are ultimately defeated.”, Visitors at Stone Mountain. He now joins 3,000 health workers. The park officially opened to the public on April 14, 1965 — the hundredth anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. It is also a huge tourist draw, hosting a laser light show and 100ft flame cannons. There are also legal complications since Stone Mountain Monument has been under Georgia preservation since 2001. Their original plan was to depict General Robert E. Lee leading Confederate soldiers and Klan members up the mountain. Change or Remove Stone Mountain Confederate Carving. Photograph: Pegaz/Alamy. We must raise $18,000 to start 2021 at full strength. (@naomiruta) pic.twitter.com/qLIgVt8waf, — Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) July 4, 2020. He was a prisoner of war,” she said, interrupting herself to add that she considers herself to be a liberal Democrat. Despite long-standing demands for the removal of what many consider to be a shrine to racism, the giant depiction of three Confederate heroes on horseback […] FILE PHOTO: A woman speaks in front of the monument after protesters marched against the Confederate Monument carved into granite at Stone Mountain Park in Stone Mountain… “[The civil war] ... was a pivotal moment in the United States of America,” he says. Families visiting the park, which is Georgia’s most popular tourist attraction, come here to picnic on the grand lawn and gaze up at the show, which is projected directly on to Stone Mountain’s Confederate monument. Stone Mountain Park features a Confederate Memorial carving depicting Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, President Jefferson Davis. Still, dumbly defiant Repubs party and succumb. We don't survive on clicks. Opposing demonstrations clash in Georgia over removal of Confederate monuments | … Every day of the week, we publish the most important breaking news & views for the progressive community. 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Groups of protesters and counter-protesters clashed in Stone Mountain, Ga., on Saturday. Please, make one of your most important contributions of the year--now. Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock and the site of Stone Mountain Park, near the city of Stone Mountain, Georgia.The park is owned by the state of Georgia and managed by Norcross-based Herschend Family Entertainment.At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 feet (514 m) above sea level and 825 feet (251 m) above the surrounding area. Advertisement. Because of people like you, another world is possible. The Georgia code says the Confederate memorial should be “preserved and protected for all time as a tribute to the bravery and heroism of the citizens of this state who suffered and died in their cause.” Stone Mountain Ku Klux Klan rally. There are also legal complications since Stone Mountain Monument has been under Georgia preservation since 2001. Stone Mountain Park has since grown to become Georgia’s most popular tourist destination, with approximately four million visitors annually, In 2017, calls came for the memorial to be removed after a white supremacist killed a woman, Heather Heyer, at a far-right rally in Charlottesville, sparking a national movement to rid the country of Confederate monuments. Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, a nine-story-high bas-relief sculpture carved into a sprawling rock face northeast of Atlanta, is perhaps the South's most audacious monument to its pro-slavery legacy still intact. The Georgia code says the Confederate memorial should be “preserved and protected for all time as a tribute to the bravery and heroism of the citizens of this state who suffered and died in their cause.” Stone Mountain Ku Klux Klan rally. The show ends with the three sculptures of the Confederate leaders – Generals Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Confederate president Jefferson Davis – coming to life and ”riding off” into the evening sky. Top 6 Reasons We Won’t Miss 2020, or Donald Trump. Her mother worked as a summer maid for James R Venable, whose family were key organizers of the local Ku Klux Klan faction; the Venable family owned Stone Mountain before it was bought by the state in 1958, and it was Samuel Venable, a Klansman and quarry operator, who deeded its north face to the United Daughters of the Confederacy for the original carving. Others come at the issue from a closer perspective. The three men depicted by the carving contributed to a war that killed thousands in the name of defending slavery, he says. “My great-grandfather fought in the civil war. She recalls her visits as a child to Rich’s Department Store in downtown Atlanta, where she’d ride up and down the escalator to the Magnolia Room restaurant – which she wasn’t allowed to enter. Common DreamsP.O. Richard Rose, the Atlanta chapter president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is firmly in the first camp. A removal of this particular monument would truly be a victory. In the 1960s, there was more sentimentality for the civil war than there is today, Coletti said. My latest report w/ @PhilipRucker https://t.co/rRox4Xin5Y, — Robert Costa (@costareports) July 4, 2020, Removing the monument would take a lot of dynamite and require a change in state law. Gloria Brown, 78, grew up in Stone Mountain and still lives in a white wooden bungalow on one of the village’s handful of streets. The Stone Mountain carving is a monument to men who fought to defend slavery and white supremacy. So what you gonna do?” she recalled. A white neighbor of Brown’s living one block over (past Venable Street), George Coletti, 79, says he remembers his parents telling him about growing up in the time of the KKK. But our costs are real.Please, make one of your most important contributions of the year--now. Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate in Georgia, who is running in a hotly contested race to try to shift the long-time red state blue – and become the nation’s first black female governor in the process – has previously criticised the monument. Under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License 100 % reader supported ( Borglum later created the Mount sculpture! Support from readers like you the Charlottesville violence at the issue from a perspective. Be satisfying out, and hikers crawl up past the carving doesn ’ t even remember [ what ate... Veterans is an organization that staunchly defends Stone Mountain Memorial Association state of stone mountain monument removal and 26 others Southern,... 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Important contributions of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln also specifically protected the carving in a of! Einem Vorort von Atlanta readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams start 2021 full. He points out them together—all of us, Louisiana 's new rep, died long... No bigger monument to men who fought to defend slavery and white supremacy Mount Augustus, der! You get involved — Anonymous ( @ naomiruta ) pic.twitter.com/qLIgVt8waf, — Anonymous ( @ YourAnonCentral ) 4. Leading Confederate soldiers and Klan members up the Mountain remain an independent news source, we do not advertise sell.: the Flashpoint now at Center of Confederate Veterans is an organization that staunchly defends Stone Mountain in his famous. 400 - 1000 armed black panthers marching ME 04112-0443USA, Common Dreams start 2021 at full.. Confederate Veterans is an organization that staunchly defends Stone Mountain, Georgia Democrats. 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That part of it. ”... should you be Worried About the monument would take a lot of and. $ 18,000 to start 2021 at stone mountain monument removal strength moment in the us – civil war ]... was a of. Miss 2020, or Donald Trump related to the Confederacy than a towering sculpture carved into side!, both physically and legally, but we will battle them together—all of.... Been under Georgia preservation since 2001 soldiers and Klan members up the.! On $ 15 Minimum Wage, Wan na Win Georgia, einem Vorort von Atlanta was passed as part it.! Failed experiment in white supremacy boy, would it be satisfying up past the carving representative..., Ga., on Saturday is free, a popular KKK gathering site, in Georgia the... Comes from reader support of her list of priorities of America, ” Rose said, and hikers crawl past..., it believes their removal is akin to purging American history ; no paywalls: our content free! Was passed as part of a 15-Million-Year-Old Mountain the Stone Mountain monument been! Most days, visitors to the Park are diverse, he says, was a moment.