As you know, there is a national debate going on regarding monuments and memorials dedicated to the Civil War that were installed back in the 1800s and early 1900s.
Here in Orlando, we have one such monument, the confederate statue at Lake Eola Park. These statues are subject to various interpretations. Some, like myself, see them as historical markers dedicated to men who died during a war.
Other perceive it as a symbol of white supremacy and the vestige of slavery. With this understanding and our City’s commitment to inclusiveness, I am proposing to move the statue to a more appropriate location at Greenwood Cemetery within the confederate veterans section.
During today’s City Council meeting, we heard public comments about the statue and its location.
I don’t feel the statue should be taken down permanently. My proposed plan of action is two-fold and includes:
- Engaging historians from UCF and other appropriate academic institutions to develop and install an appropriate educational interpretive panel near the monument that would put the monument in proper historical context and serve as an educational tool for our community and future generations about this painful period of our history.
- Preserving this historic artifact of our past by utilizing a professional team to thoroughly inspect and carefully dismantle, move, reassemble and re-erect the statue in Greenwood Cemetery in the Civil War confederate section. This would not be the first time the statue has been moved, as it was originally located on Magnolia Avenue before it was moved to Lake Eola Park in 1917.
As we move this plan forward, I believe this proposal balances the inclusive morals of our community today, while carefully preserving historic artifacts from our past that can be used to further educate and serve as important lessons in today’s society.
– Buddy Dyer, Mayor