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Seattle cemetery guards Confederate memorial as tension rises

Aug 16, 2017, 12:44 PM | Updated: Aug 17, 2017, 7:36 am
confederate memorial...
A truck sits in front of a Confederate memorial at Seattle's Lake View Cemetery. (Feliks Banel/KIRO Radio)
(Feliks Banel/KIRO Radio)

A private memorial for Confederate soldiers in a Seattle cemetery was being protected from vandals on Wednesday.

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The memorial stands at Lake View Cemetery in Capitol Hill, the same place Bruce Lee is buried. According to historian Feliks Banel, a maintenance truck was parked near the monument.

The private memorial was dedicated in 1926 for fallen soldiers of the Confederate Army. It was sculpted by the same man who made the statue honoring Chief Sealth.

The precaution by the Seattle cemetery stems from increased pressure from people around the country who are demanding Confederate memorials be removed. Monuments in Baltimore were hauled away by the city early Wednesday morning. Other monuments haven’t lasted long enough to withstand public outrage.

Earlier this week, protesters toppled a statue of a Confederate soldier in North Carolina, kicking and spitting on it after it fell.

The action was in response to the white nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia last Saturday. One woman was killed when a white nationalist drove his car into a group of counter-protesters.

The violent conflict and public outcry have promoted new talks by government officials about bringing down the memorials scattered around the country, many of which are in the South.

Though few exist in Washington state, there are some that still stand on private property.

Feliks Banel has questioned the removal and destruction of the memorials. He says it feels like people are trying to erase some of our history, which, if forgotten, could be repeated.

“It made me kind of sad to see that you have to park a truck in front of a monument to war dead — granted for the Confederacy, which is very controversial, obviously — but it still seems sad that we have to take that step in these times,” he said of the Seattle memorial.

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Seattle cemetery guards Confederate memorial as tension rises