Obama Monument Dedicated to First Lady's Ancestor Toppled in Georgia

Image: Obama Monument Dedicated to First Lady's Ancestor Toppled in Georgia

Tuesday, 11 Jun 2013 09:34 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Police in a suburban Georgia town are searching for the vandals who toppled a monument dedicated to one of first lady Michelle Obama's ancestors sometime last week.

The monument was installed in Rex, Ga., nearly a year ago and paid tribute to Melvinia Shields, Obama's great-great-great grandmother who was born into slavery in the 1800s and later settled in Rex, about 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

"It was our little source of pride because here we are in little old Rex, Georgia, and we had ties to the White House, so there's pride in us for that," Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton told WSB-TV. "We're going to believe just the way we showed that unity on that day here in Rex when we had the dedication of this memorial, we're going to believe that there's not that kind of hatred or dissension that someone would do this."

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The memorial was discovered toppled from its foundation Monday. The city has called a construction company to lift the heavy stone so it can be inspected for cracks.

"When I saw it, I shed a few tears," resident Vicki Smith, who helped get the monument to the town, told WSB-TV.

Related stories:

President Obama to Dedicate New MLK Memorial in DC

Vandals Deface Another Jewish Memorial in East Poland

White House Spin for Obama: National Monument Will Create 3,000 Jobs

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