All confederate monuments in Jacksonville, Florida, will soon be taken down, Mayor Lenny Curry said Tuesday at a protest outside City Hall.
“Yesterday, there was a Confederate monument in the park. Today, it’s gone, and the others in this city will be removed as well,” he said.
Curry added that he was in conversation with the Cultural Council about where the monuments would be placed and had been thinking about the removal for “some time.”
“We’ve got to find a way to come together. We’re not going to agree on everything — that’s just not human history, human nature. We’ve got to find common ground,” he continued.
Saturday, Curry tweeted that these were serious times and leaders would be remembered for how they acted:
2. We are living in serious times. Those of us in leadership will be remembered for how we act. There is no playbook or certain way forward. But it’s on us to listen to all sides & make decisions we believe in that are void of politics. It’s a heavy lift. But it’s our calling.
— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) June 7, 2020
Tuesday morning, officials removed a confederate soldier monument from Jacksonville’s Hemming Park that was placed there in 1898, according to First Coast News.
“The monument, one of the few things downtown that survived the Great Fire of Jacksonville, has been removed amid the protests and rallies across the country after the death of George Floyd,” the article read.
Later, Seber Newsome, a member of Save Our Heritage Florida, expressed disagreement with the decision to pull the statue down and said there was “nothing in that monument that promotes slavery.”
“It talks to the soldier of Florida. American veterans. Confederate veterans. Our veterans. My ancestors did not own one slave,” Newsome explained.
Despite some pushback, former President of the City Council Anna Lopez Brosche praised Curry’s decision and said the city could “begin the process of healing.”
“I appreciate Mayor Lenny Curry’s executive action to remove the Confederate monument from Hemming Park, and I am grateful for this day in Jacksonville,” she wrote in a statement.