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Confederate memorial may be on its way out of Seattle

The removal of a Confederate memorial in Seattle may be one step closer.

Heidi Christensen says she is the former president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She called for the removal of a Confederate memorial in Seattle at the city council’s Monday meeting.

RELATED: Confederate history in the Northwest

The monument is located at Seattle’s Lakeview Cemetery. Christensen was among a crowd who spoke during public comment. They urged city officials to find a way to move it to another location.

“I realize the Lakeview Cemetery is private property,” Christensen said. “I realize the Confederate monument has long been a symbol of division. But I’m calling on the City of Seattle and any civil rights attorney to contact me through heididuty.com to place this monument on private property. The Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp in Portland, Oregon would be a more appropriate place for it.”

The Confederate memorial has drawn so much controversy in the past, it has required protection from vandalism. Since it is on private property, public officials have little say about its placement.

Confederate memorial in Seattle

Proponents of removing the Confederate memorial argue they want to find a way to get it out of town.

“Lakeview Cemetery is one of the most visited cemeteries in the state with thousands of visitors who visit Bruce Lee’s grave site alone,” said Charlotte LeFevre with the Northwest  Museum of Legends and Lore. “To describe Lakeview Cemetery as ‘private property’ is a disregard to the thousands of people who visit the cemetery every year, families, and friends. Military code dictates that an enemy flag should not be flown after defeat. This dishonors the American flag.”

Mike Dedrick, vice president of Veterans for Peace’s Seattle chapter backed up Christensen’s sentiment.

“VIP does not accept the display of racist words or symbols on any monument and this is especially true of symbols supporting or endorsing the Confederacy and its failed war in support of slavery,” Dedrick said. “As veterans, we have a connection to these former soldiers … one of our chapter members has a great grandfather, Joseph Pritchet, one of the 14 Confederates buried next to the monument. Our member supports the scrubbing of offensive words and symbols.”

“There needs to be more awareness of the roles the (United Daughters of the Confederacy) had in promoting myths that the Confederate cause was a just and honorable one, and that states’ rights, not slavery, was its call to arms,” he said. “This promotion of southern mythology includes support of the KKK, turning a blind eye to lynching and Jim Crow laws … UDC’s virulently racist climate can be seen in the hate-filled rants of white supremacists after the Charleston and Sutherland Church massacres, the KKK rallies and torchlight white nationalist marches composed of, as President Trump commented, “good people.'”

 

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