Letter: Memorials not shameful symbols of our past

Christina Pacetti
St Augustine, FL

Dear Historic City News editor:

As a resident of St Augustine, I am concerned that removing any memorials will start a trend that will follow with the removal of other historical markers located in our city.

Memorials are defined as follows: “something, especially a structure, established to remind people of a person or event: “a monument built as a memorial to those who fell in the Civil War”. Memorials are not shameful symbols of our past.

Many of the residents in St Augustine have deep roots to families of the original settlers. This does not make us racists, white supremacists, or Nazis. It makes us proud citizens of our town and history.

People travel from all over the World to visit our city because of our rich history. Removing a memorial with the names of fallen soldiers would show a direct disregard for the families of those who lost their lives when they were called upon to serve.

This memorial was placed in our Plaza in May of 1872 to honor the men who lost their lives while serving in the Civil War.

What is remarkable about the monument is that it memorializes no General of the Confederacy or any battle of the war, nor does it acknowledge any great military maneuver. What it does is to memorialize those men from Saint Augustine who died fighting for their beliefs.

You will find my family name on this memorial as well as lots of other Minorcan names; local men who died in the Civil War. I don’t see any hate speech, or support for slavery.

This Memorial has no political agenda. It was placed there by the grieving families of loved ones who were buried in mass graves on the battlefields where they died. They had no way of remembering these men with grave markers, so they came together as one and created a single memorial to remember their lives.

The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr and Andrew Young stood within feet of the memorial and never called for its removal. They had enough respect for its real purpose.

They called for all people to come together in peace, not to look for reasons to divide.

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