Confederate monument in West Palm Beach to be removed

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida mayor is calling for the removal of a Confederate monument after it was marred by vandals.

The monument, which has stood in Woodlawn Cemetary in West Palm Beach for over 70 years, was found spray painted with the word “Nazi” and the letters “KKK.”

For a while now, West Palm Beach’s mayor said she’s fought for its removal.

“We have asked [the owners] to remove their monument,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “They have not done that, so we are going to remove it for them.”

She said the monument is coming down despite what the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who own the statue, have to say about it.

The monument was vandalized during the weekend of Aug. 19 following the events in Charlottesville where protesters clashed over the removal of a Confederate statue.

“I’m thinking, it’s 2017. Are we going back to what was happening in the ’50s and ’60s?” said Muoio.

Crews cleaned up the monument, Monday, and a number of people showed up demanding that it stay.

“This is not General Beauregard. This is not Robert E. Lee,” said one man, looking up at the monument. “Take it down? It’s almost like walking over the grave.”

Another man said the monument isn’t doing any harm.

“I didn’t even know it was here. It never affected my life. It doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

But one woman at the cemetery said it’s time for the monument to come down.

“I don’t think it would hurt to have them removed,” she said.

The mayor said the city has tried contacting the United Daughters of the Confederacy but have not heard back.

The statue will be placed in storage until the group decides what to do with it.

“We want to protect it. We don’t want to damage it, because it is a private property,” said Muoio.

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