As monuments and memorials commemorating Confederate history became the flash point of protest, controversy, and in most cases, were removed, one city escaped notice. For once, being associated as the portal of the “happiest place on earth” played a part in a quiet move of a Confederate monument. The stone beacon not stands guard over the remains of sons who gave either their lives or years of those lives to her cause.
In the summer of 2017, the city of Orlando moved their Confederate monument from Lake Eiola Park to Greenwood Cemetery, where 37 ex-Confederate soldiers are interred. The statue, of “Johnny Reb” was commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and placed on Main Street in 1911. Six years later the statue moved to the bucolic Lake Eiola Park. For one-hundred years the 9-ton stone marker was a sole reminder that some of Orlando’s native sons, then a small hamlet spreading out from the environs of a former military post.
Although the monument’s move was largely unnoticed by the larger media outlets, given its remoteness in terms of geography, there was some dissent. In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Don Price, sexton of Greenwood Cemetery had a significant point about the removal of the statue and its transfer to the cemetery.
“A cemetery is an equalizer. We have Christian crosses, Celtic crosses, graves for doctors, murderers, Catholics, Buddhists…it’s a non-judgmental place.”
After tests of the soil to make sure it the soil below and ground on the surface would be suitable. Then the process, which had a price tag of $182,000, could begin.
When finished, the Confederate monument will stand over the soldiers who served that cause. On the same grounds stands a monument commemorating the soldiers that fought to preserve the Union.
Greenwood Cemetery, big enough for both, it seems.
*Orlando Sentinel Article, which was accessed for this post can be found here
(hyperlink here if you don’t mind: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-johnny-reb-statue-greenwood-cemetery-20170822-story.html