Confederate Statue To Be Moved To Brandon Cemetery

Jul 19, 2017

Hillsborough County Commissioners voted Wednesday to move a Confederate memorial that has stood outside the county courthouse for more than a century.

The move came after more than 100 people spoke out during the meeting, with most of them in favor of its removal.

The vote was a change in course from a vote in June to keep the 1911-era statue.  It will be moved to a private cemetery in Brandon, off State Road 60. The cemetery's owners offered to place the monument next to the burial plots of several Confederate veterans.

Andrea Brayvoy,  a retired Air Force Colonel from Tampa Palms, said the monument should never have been placed at the entrance to a courthouse.

"I support moving that monument to a cemetery, because the Confederacy is dead," she said. "And it belongs dead."

Paul Vaccaro of Titusville said the removal would be an attempt to whitewash history.

"This is only the beginning," he said. "The left is trying to remove anything and everything they disagree with, and it must not be allowed. I'm here today to speak for the silent. Those 260,000 soldiers who lie under white markers from Arlington and all across America. For they cannot speak for themselves."

But Commissioner Pat Kemp said it was time to "turn the page."

"I'm really honored to be able to cast a vote on this to turn that page on this chapter," she said. "I think now we can write a new chapter, one that speaks to the strength that we have. And we are one of the most diverse communities in this country. "

Commissioner Sandy Murman originally voted against moving the statue, but changed her vote after Tampa attorney Tom Scarritt said he's starting a Go-Fund Me page to pay for moving the statue. That may cost as much as $100,000.