Early Tuesday morning, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry ordered city workers to remove the bronze statue of a Confederate soldier that had been displayed in downtown city park for more than a century.
The 62-foot granite monument was installed in Hemming Park in 1898. The park’s namesake, Charles C. Hemming donated the statue to honor Florida’s Confederate soldiers.
Later on Tuesday, Mayor Curry pledged that he would order the removal of all remaining public Confederate monuments throughout the city.
In Pensacola, a petition to remove the Confederate monument in the city’s Lee Square has garnered nearly 12,000 signatures.
Catherine Deason wrote in support of the petition: “The statue is a reminder of a time when not all men were equal…why should we walk next to that in a time when we supposedly are? As a city we deserve better. If we truly want to highlight our history let’s not hide the fact that Pensacola was known at one point as the most racist cities in America. This city experienced tragedy that we hopefully will never have to witness. It has been far too long. We need this deplorable statue away from our city. Do we want our children growing up in a city that still can’t recognize the racial injustice of this so called “monument” ??? Tear it down!!! Build something in unity with the community. This statue does not represent the citizens of Pensacola and it shouldn’t represent the city either.”
A similar petition to get then-Mayor Ashton Hayward to remove the statue received 2,520 signatures in 2017. Hayward said on radio that he wanted the monument removed from city property but never did anything.
Mayor Grover Robinson will have a live Q&A session on Facebook today at 11:30 a.m.