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Ceremony marks progress in relocating monuments

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    The monument relocation committee gathered at Saturday’s ceremony. From left to right: Sumai Lokumbe, co-chair Cheryl Lee, co-chair Sharah Johnson, Willie Culberson, Damon Doss, Carl Rees, Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape, Bernie Jackson. Photos by Julianne Hodges
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    Pastor Bob Long opens the ceremony with a prayer.
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    Local musician Tim Peterson performs at the ceremony.
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    The crowd gives a round of applause after the members of the monument relocation committee are named.
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    Cheryl Lee, the co-chair of the monument relocation committee and one of the leaders of the effort to move the monuments, talks about her path to working on this effort.
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    Co-chair Sharah Johnson talks about the committee’s work.
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    Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape talks about the history of the monuments and why they are being moved.
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    Sumai Lokumbe, mistress of ceremonies, closes Saturday’s event by speaking about promoting equality and righting wrongs by moving the monuments.
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    Paster Bernie Jackson closes the ceremony with a prayer.

County officials and members of a committee appointed to relocate the Confederate monuments at the Bastrop County courthouse met for a ceremony on Saturday morning ahead of the monuments’ move to a planned heritage park.

Last summer, the court approved the relocation of two Confederate monuments at the county courthouse and appointed a committee of community members to coordinate their relocation. The committee’s duties include finding a new location for the monuments and raising the funds to do so from private sources. The plan is to develop a public heritage park near Camp Swift on Cool Water Drive, which would preserve the history of the monuments and put them in a more complete historical perspective.

Sumai Lokumbe, one of the committee members, served as the mistress of ceremony on Saturday. Committee member Carl Rees led the pledge of allegiance, Pastor Bob Long gave the opening prayer, and local musician Tim Peterson performed a song titled “Just Praise the Lord” on the flute.

Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape introduced all of the committee members present at Saturday’s ceremony. Committee co-chair Cheryl Lee spoke about the efforts she began almost a year ago to work with Bastrop County to get the monuments removed, and fellow co-chair Sharah Johnson spoke more about the monuments and the committee’s work. Finally, Pape delivered more remarks about the monuments and their history.

Pastor Bernie Jackson closed the ceremony with a closing prayer.