United Daughters of the Confederacy says monument on Ward Parkway will be removed

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Anyone driving down Ward Parkway on Sunday noticed a change.

The Daughters of the Confederacy monument at 55th and Ward Parkway is now boarded up with plywood. It took Kansas City Parks and Recreation crews about three hours to do it Sunday morning.

A United Daughters of the Confederacy memorial now stands boarded up. The memorial is to be re-located.

The Daughters of the Confederacy said they plan to move the monument but haven’t given specific details.

There was an increased police presence at the monument due to a march happening down the street.

The Kansas City Department of Parks and Recreation confirmed on Sunday the United Daughters of the Confederacy memorial monument at 55th Street and Ward Parkway will be removed ‘soon’.

According to the statement, the Missouri Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy actually requested its removal from its current location ‘to a place of safety to prevent further vandalism.’

Last week, FOX 4 reported that the park and rec board had received a request for its removal and was reviewing the request. At that time, the board did not reveal who requested its removal. Now, the Missouri Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy has also made a request for its removal.

On Saturday morning, vandalism was discovered on the memorial.

FOX 4’s Kera Mashek drove by there Saturday with photojournalist John Clishem. They say the vandal’s message was unclear. It was indiscernible, painted in red spray paint. Someone there thought it looked like an old Soviet logo, possibly a hammer and sickle.

A Parks & Rec spokesperson initially said the removal request would be discussed at the next board meeting, on Aug. 29.

“The Board of Parks Commissioners is reviewing the message on the monument in the context of today’s moral perspectives and sensibilities and take the public’s comments seriously, and all reasonable requests into consideration,” a Parks & Rec spokesperson said.

The nine-foot-tall monument, now standing in the grassy median between the lanes of Ward Parkway, was initially located at the entrance to the Country Club Plaza. Dedicated on Sept. 9, 1934 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to honor “the women of the Old South.”

Related: Man says Confederate monument along Ward Parkway discounts slavery’s harm

The KC Parks & Rec website describes the 83-year-old monument, saying, “the top of the shaft is the U.D.C. emblem with a wreath enclosing the letters U.D.C. and beneath the wreath are the crossed flags of the Union and the Confederacy with the dates 61-65. Lower on the monument is inscribed the dedication, ‘In loving memory of the Loyal Women of the Old South.’”

The monument was moved to its current location in 1958.

The request came amid a wave of action to remove Confederate monuments across the country. On Saturday, violence broke out in Charlottesville, Va. at a protest against the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee that resulted in the death of one woman. On Monday, a group gathered and toppled a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina.

Tuesday night, the city of Baltimore removed four Confederate monuments.

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