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City Commission OKs recommendation to keep Confederate Memorial, add context

Another display explaining history to be added

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The St. Augustine City Commission decided during Monday evening's meeting to move forward with the city manager's recommendation to keep a Civil War memorial on city property, but contextualize it. 

The Confederate Memorial in the Plaza de la Constitución commemorates local soldiers who served and died in the Confederate Army.

City Manager John Regan recommend at the City Commission meeting that the memorial remain in place, but that another display be added to explain the history and provide context. 

VIEW: Confederate Memorial presentation

Regan's recommendation was followed by a presentation about the memorial’s history, its context with other Civil War-related monuments in Florida and nationwide and the city’s ongoing effort to tell its entire history.

The St. Augustine City Commission then heard public comment before all five commissioners gave unanimous consensus to move forward with Regan's recommendation. 

A commission-appointed advisory committee will be put together to guide what that additional display might entail. 

Not everyone supports the decision. Last month, Rev. Ron Rawls, of the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, held a meeting at the church about the memorial. He said he wants the memorial to be removed. 

During the City Commission meeting Monday night, the University of Florida also got confirmation to do its own study on the state-owned Gen. William Loring Memorial in St. Augustine. The study will help ensure both sides of history are included.