Massachusetts Leaders Weigh Fate of Confederate Memorial on Georges Island

With Confederate monuments being vandalized and defaced in cities across America, attention is now being turned to what will happen to the one remaining Confederate memorial in Massachusetts.

The memorial stands outside of Fort Warren on Georges Island in Boston Harbor. Right now, it's covered with wooden planks as state leaders decide what the next steps are to get it removed.

"Governor Baker believes we should refrain from the display of symbols, especially in public parks, that do not support liberty and equality for the people of Massachusetts," said Lizzy Guyton, communications director for Baker.

The monument was erected in 1963 by The United Daughters of the Confederacy's Boston Chapter. Engraved in stone are the names of 13 confederates who died in captivity at the fort.

"I think you really need to look at how the memorial is being presented," said Jennifer Giaccai, of Washington D.C. "If it's being presented as honoring the hatred that was presented in our past, I believe they belong nowhere."

In June, the monument was covered.

"I think it's weak," said Andrea Ferguson of Hyannis. "I think it's a quick band aid. Not a fix."

Due to the fact Fort Warren is a National Historic Landmark, the removal process will be under more scrutiny.

Last month, the Massachusetts Historic Commission informed the Department of Conservation and Recreation they would need to submit a form highlighting preferred alternatives, options they are considering and a description of removal techniques.

In other American cities, confederate monuments are coming down. One was topped Monday in Durham, North Carolina. In Louisville, Kentucky, vandals spattered paint on another monument.

"Where these statues are, in public squares and so on, you can't help but interpret that as a statement that we still support that message," said John Guyer of Washington D.C.

For now, the memorial in Boston Harbor will stay on the island shielded from its visitors as its Confederate past leaves its future in question.

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