Daytona Beach removes Confederate monuments

Three Confederate monuments were removed from a city park in Daytona Beach Friday morning.

City crews took the plaques from a larger monument to Volusia County fallen service members in Riverside Park. City spokesperson Susan Cerbone said the markers were pulled at about 7 a.m. and are being cleaned up and moved permanently to a near-by museum.

Cerbone said the decision came during a meeting this week; a meeting right after the violent protests over a confederate monument in Charlottesville. She said the City Manager asked staff if they had any Confederate Markers in public parks and ultimately gave the order to remove the three at Riverside. Daytona’s mayor has also been outspoken on the situation over social media this week.

Some people passing the monument supported the move Friday afternoon, saying it was good to move fast given the current state of things, but several also said they didn’t even realize the small plaques were ever there.

A group that did realize it though is the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Director Byron Peavy was not happy at the decision that came with no public input and no involvement by his group or, he said, the local Daughters of the Confederacy.

"When I see these monuments taken down, I take it personally,” said Peavy.

Peavy said monuments like that one were donated to honor the local soldiers who died in the Civil War. In fact these particular monuments actually named many of them that are buried in the area.

Peavy said his group continues to fight to protect those monuments and the memories of the soldiers, but he said that is getting more difficult.

He said the recent involvement by white supremacist groups is turning the cause into something his group does not support. He said his chapter of the Sons has long fought to keep racist ideals and extremists out of the picture; he said they do not represent what the Sons are fighting fo.

“Those groups are our worst enemies,” he said, “more so even than the people trying to remove the monuments.”

Cerbone said ultimately the matter did not require public input or a vote because the monuments were donated and not purchased with tax payer funds. Daytona Beach joins Orlando, Gainesville, and several other Florida cities in removing the controversial monuments.