Calls to Rename Edmund Pettus Bridge Renew in Selma
From the West Alabama Newsroom–
The removal of Confederate statues and symbols — has re-ignited calls to change the name of the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.
Former State Senator Hank Sanders — spear-headed an effort to change the name of the bridge — five year ago in the state legislature. That effort failed — but Sanders is hoping — this time is different.
“This bridge is a symbol of freedom all over the world. Edmund Pettus was a grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. Edmund Pettus was a white supremacy and I don’t think you need to lift both of those in the same breath,” he said.
Sanders is pushing to rename the bridge — Bridge to Freedom.
“A name that every person who fought for voting rights can see themselves in it,” he said.
Some people have suggested renaming the bridge in honor of Congressman John Lewis.
While others say — it should be named in honor of Amelia Boynton Robinson — or Jimmie Lee Jackson. All were key figures — in the Voting Rights Movement.
However — not everyone agrees — that the name on the bridge — should be changed.
“I just don’t see why its so necessary to change the Edmund Pettus Bridge,” said Rev. Joseph Rembert.
“I’m no fan of Confederate monuments or memorials or anything like that. Doing the name changes without changing the mindsets is not doing us a whole lot of good.”
The Edmund Pettus Bridge is registered as a National Historic Landmark.
It was built in 1940.