OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — A southwest Louisiana parish government has voted to remove a 102-year-old Confederate monument that currently stands on the courthouse grounds in Opelousas.

The St. Landry Parish Council voted 10-3 Wednesday in favor of a resolution to remove the monument and donate it to daughters and sons of the Confederate veterans organizations, The Advocate reported.

Details about the cost and the date of the removal were pending.

But the council’s decision already represents a milestone in the Acadiana region and a moment of relief for thousands of Black people who live in St. Landry Parish.

“Some people said we would just get along with what happened in the past,” said Charles Cravins, a former district attorney in St. Landry Parish and one of the leading opponents of the monument. “But to get along with it, we have to treat each other with dignity and respect. That monument represents the opposite.

“If it cost $15,000 to move this monument, it means it is gonna be about 50 cents per every African American person of this parish. We have come a long way. Many of our parents were not allowed to come here to this chamber and talk. And we came here now, believing this time we were going to be successful.”

Cravins, now an attorney in Opelousas, led the request to remove the statue with the support of retired Opelousas City Court Judge Vanessa Harris. Both Cravins and Harris were the first Black people to serve in their respective positions. Harris is currently serving as a judge pro tempore for Lafayette City Court until a November election to replace Michelle Odinet, who resigned after a video of Odinet using a racial slur surfaced in December.

The statue was erected in February 1920 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s Louisiana division and Gordon chapter, nearly 55 years after the Civil War ended. It stands on the northeast corner of the courthouse square.

Cravins said the monument was erected during the Jim Crow period of intimidation and discrimination against Black people in America when the United Daughters and other groups supported the Lost Cause ideology and White supremacist ideas.

Supporters said the monument’s purpose was nothing other than honoring named and unnamed veterans of the Confederate Army who fought in the Civil War.

“Over 50,000 men served Louisiana during the war,” said St. Landry Parish resident George Gremillion in support of the monument. “Many of them were killed on battlefields, and they were buried in mass graves. Those guys do not know where they were buried.

“To the wives, the daughters and the sisters, they put together their efforts and constructed this monument downtown here to honor, to have a place for them to say thanks to their loved ones. When all you guys go out there and see your parents and grandparents’ headstones there, you can go honor them. A lot of families can’t say that. That’s why this monument is here: for our war deads.”