Jun 30, 2020
The Fight Over Removing Florida's Oldest Civil War Monument
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) — Three dozen descendants of fallen Confederate soldiers want a Florida city to hold off on removing a Confederate monument, worrying the historic relic might be damaged in the process, according to a lawsuit.
St. Augustine city commissioners voted last week to remove the monument, which is the oldest Civil War monument in the state.It also rests in an area designated as a national historic landmark. The 30-foot tall relic, which lists the names of fallen soldiers, was placed in Plaza de La Constitution in 1879.
The St. Augustine Record reported Monday that petitioners of the lawsuit fear the city can't guarantee its safe removal and want the city to wait until the Historic Architectural Review Board can evaluate the removal process.
“This monument was a communal effort, public art, and social history. Ex-soldiers and politicians had a difficult time raising funds to erect monuments so the tax mostly fell to the women, the mothers, widows and orphans, the bereaved fiancees and sisters of the soldiers who had lost their lives," the lawsuit stated.
St. Augustine officials declined comment, but said they can't guarantee safety because of the difficulties preserving large, historic objects. The removal process can take weeks and cost more than $100,000, according to experts.
A judge recently dismissed a separate lawsuit seeking to stop the city from moving the monument at all, although petitioners said they planned to amend the suit and refile it.
The latest lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jill Pacetti and other descendants of men named on the memorial, the Veterans Council of St. Johns County and the Military Officers Association of America, Ancient City Chapter.
“We just feel like to bring the memorial down because of a race issue is not going to bring the community together,” Pacetti said. “No one went through the necessary steps to even look at the architecture of the memorial. Can it be moved? Can it be taken apart?”
The petitioners are requesting a temporary injunction to prohibit the city from relocating it until a study is done by a review board.
It's unclear where the monument will be be taken.
Jaime Perkins spent years trying to get the memorial removed and was even spit on at one point during protests to take it down.
“I feel like our Commission finally is listening to its minority residents,” she said. "It’s finally taking heed to ... how we feel.”
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News Source: usnews.com
What to know about Salute to America flyovers, fireworksFILE – In this July 4, 2019 file photo, fireworks go off over the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2019. The Trump administration is promising one of the largest fireworks displays in recent memory for D.C. on July 4. It also plans to give away as many as 300,000 face masks to those who come down to the National Mall, although they won’t be required to wear them. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Though D.C. residents and visitors alike have been urged to keep their Fourth of July celebrations at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will still be activity over the National Mall on Saturday.
A flyover and fireworks display over the National Mall is part of the “Salute to America” celebration organized by the White House to celebrate the Fourth of July.
For more information, visit the National Park Service’s website. You can also receive day-of-event notifications by texting JULY4DC to 888777.
Here’s what you need to know for Saturday.
Q: When is the flyover?
The flyover above the National Mall is 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m.
It will include both modern and historical aircraft.
Q: When are the fireworks?
The fireworks run from 9:07 p.m. to 9:42 p.m.
In a release, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service called the fireworks display “the largest ever.”
Q: What are the health and safety precautions?
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has discouraged people from congregating on the National Mall due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are seeing dramatic increases in cases across the country,” Bowser said Wednesday. “And we don’t want that to happen here. So we’re asking you to do your part and especially be vigilant throughout this holiday weekend.”
If you’re still planning on coming to the National Mall, “Salute to America” organizers will be making 300,000 cloth face coverings available and encouraging social distancing. After all, the area of the National Mall and the Memorial Parks around the Tidal Basin includes 800 acres of space.
The event’s organizers remind attendees to be mindful of CDC guidelines about large events during the pandemic:
- Stay home if you have a fever or symptoms associated with COVID-19.
- Stay at least 6 feet apart from people who are not in your immediate household.
- Wear a face covering if social distancing is not possible.
- Avoid unnecessary contact with people outside of your household.
- Avoid gatherings if you have a condition that would put you at risk of becoming severely ill.
- Wash your hands often.
More Fourth of July News
- Sign up for WTOP alerts
- What to know about DC-area July Fourth celebrations
- Metro to expand service on July 4 for National Mall fireworks display
- This year’s ‘A Capitol Fourth’ will be pretaped except for live fireworks
- Ocean City leaders say come for July Fourth ‘at your own risk’
Q: If I’m heading to the Mall, what should I expect when I get there?
If you plan to attend the event and wish to enter the National Mall close to the Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool, be advised that it is a secure area.
There will be four entry points available along Constitution Avenue Northwest and Independence Avenue Southwest between 17th Street Northwest and the Lincoln Memorial.
Bags and coolers will be searched.
The access points will open at 1 p.m. and close at 9 p.m. They are:
- Constitution Avenue NW at 20th Street NW
- Constitution Avenue NW between 23rd Street NW and Henry Bacon Drive NW
- 17th Street NW between Constitution Avenue NW and Independence Avenue SW (near the World War II Memorial)
- East Basin Drive just south of the Jefferson Memorial (but you won’t be able to access the National Mall from here).
Metro will have expanded service around the Mall on Saturday in anticipation of July Fourth events. Trains will remain active past 9 p.m. at nearby stations.
Read more about Metro’s plans here.
Q: What are some area closures to remember?
Here’s that information from the National Park Service:
Q: If I go to the National Mall, what can’t I bring?
You can’t bring the stuff that’s usually prohibited on National Park Service land such as firearms, alcohol, aerosols, explosives/personal fireworks, laser points, grilling equipment and more. Check out a list of prohibited items here.
Don’t bring your personal drones. Don’t set up personal tents. Because of the limited space, the park service is asking visitors to not play volleyball, badminton or other recreational activities during this time.
The park service is also recommending that you keep your pets at home.
Q: Where else can I view the fireworks outside of the National Mall?
The news release notes the fireworks should be visible up to 3 miles from the launch site.
Some of those locations include Meridian Hill Park, Gravelly Point Park, the Netherlands Carillon Grounds and the Mount Vernon Trail between the 14th Street Bridge and Roosevelt Island.