The North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans placed flowers Saturday morning at the base that once held the Silent Sam statue on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus. The statue was toppled by protestors on Aug. 20.
In a statement to members of the media, the group said the flowers were purchased with “hundreds of individual donations” from people in North Carolina and other states.
“These donors wanted to do something to show their sadness for what occurred on August 20 as well as to appreciate the sacrifice of these students of the University who were American veterans,” the statement read.
The Boy Soldier Memorial, more commonly known as Silent Sam, has been the focus of protests and vandalism for decades, but especially in the past year.
The News & Observer has previously reported that UNC had installed surveillance cameras and spent $390,000 on security around the statue last year.
The group provided photos that showed the placement of flowers around the base of the memorial. The photos were placed there by local members of the group “under the watchful eye of campus police,” according to their email.
In the statement, the group said they fear the flowers may be removed from the site.
Chancellor Carol Folt said on Friday that she would like to find a new place on campus for the Confederate statue.