War memorial may rise again if proposed law is enacted

Under the provisions of a bill filed in the Florida Legislature, the Confederate monument surreptitiously removed in the dead of night by former Mayor Lenny Curry would have to be replaced, according to the bill’s sponsor.

House Bill 395, filed by State Rep. Dean Black, would prevent local governments in Florida from removing public monuments.

The bill would punish local officials who move works of art from public spaces.

Black said it relates to all monuments, not just those relating to the Confederacy or those in Jacksonville but otherwise comports with the aims of the Unity Project in Jacksonville, an effort to preserve history.

Upon the demand of liberals in Jacksonville, in June 2020 Curry had the 62-foot statue removed from Hemming Plaza, now Johnson Park, where it had stood for 122 years.

That was the summer when Black Lives Matter and other militant liberal organizations fomented violence throughout the nation over the death of a drug-crazed felon resisting arrest, resulting in many deaths and billions of dollars in damage and theft.

Black’s bill seeks to protect historical monuments and memorials throughout the state. He said “the cancel culture has run amok” and must be curtailed.

For example, Black cited the controversy over a statue in Sarasota called Unconditional Surrender. It is a computer-generated statue that resembles the famous Life magazine photograph of a sailor kissing a woman in Times Square on V-J Day (although the artist said it was based on another photograph, not copyrighted).

Other copies have been placed around the world, often causing an outcry from the Far Left, with daffy claims that the woman being kissed may not have given her consent.

Still at issue locally is a monument to Civil War widows and children in Springfield Park

“It is the intent of the Legislature that the state not allow a historical monument or memorial to be removed, damaged, or destroyed. Accurate history belongs to all Floridians in perpetuity,” HB 595 says.

Any official who removes a historic monument would have to replace it within one year and would be liable for three times the cost to return, repair or replace the monument or memorial. It would not apply to Curry, who no longer is in office but the bill would require the current mayor to replace the statue.

Because the bill was filed early, it was given a low number, which Black said gives it an advantage in getting through the legislative process.

The Big Mystery is where Curry hid the statue. Sources say it is rumored to be secreted away in a Parks Department building in East Jacksonville, away from prying Eyes.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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