In the heart of downtown Lakeland, Florida, is Munn Park. Loved by many the park was established in the 1900’s and is named after a man that donated land for the park to sit on, Abraham Godwin Munn. In the middle of the park, stands a confederate monument with confederate flags on it and scriptures on the 3 sides of the monument.
Backstory and Context
The confederate monument in Munn Park is in downtown Lakeland, Florida. It has been around since the early 1900’s. The monument is named after Abraham Godwin Munn. Munn did much for the park such as his donation of the land to build the park. The monument itself has 3 sides to it and confederate flags on it. On the North side, the statue reads “This monument was erected by the Lakeland Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy in memory of the noble sons of the South. A.D. 1910.” On the South side, the statue reads “In memory of that noble band, who have crossed the mystic stream, and are resting now in that happy land, where peace and pleasure reign supreme. The heroic deeds will never fade, from memory's brightest page, and their brave defense of country and home, is left as a glorious heritage.” The monument was voted on by board members to have the monument removed on November 19th, 2018.
The monument was voted to be removed but why? The confederacy was the republicans in North America who were slave owning states. Some of these states included South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama. There was also a flag that represented these people, the same flag that is located on the monument. As for the man on the monument, Abraham Godwin Munn, he bought land across Florida and the land included Munn Park. The monument is also located in Florida, one of the original slaves owning states.
The monument was voted on November 19th, 2018 to be moved. This decision was made by the board staff and the public. In their defense, they say that by moving the monument, they are not getting rid of history, since the park was there before the Confederate monument was there. The moving of the monument was estimated to cost around 200,000 dollars because of the age being over 100 years old, making it very delicate. Over the past years, many monuments have been taken down or moved over complaints. People are starting to take a stand against why these monuments are hurtful to some. But others are saying that these monuments are a part of history and should remain today.
Overall, I believe that the trend of monuments being taken down/destroyed is only just starting, especially ones that involved the Confederacy. It is important to preserve history. But with times changing, the way we keep it might start to change. This might be the first step in the change of how we remember history.
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WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7 | By Roberto Roldan. (2018, June 22). Removal Of Confederate Monument In Lakeland Slows Due To Lack Of Funding. Retrieved October 12, 2020, from https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/news/2018-06-22/removal-of-confederate-monument-in-lakeland-slows-due-to-lack-of-funding