Hollywood Forever Cemetery Removes Confederate Monument After Calls From Activists and Vandalism Threats

Alene Tchekmedyian, Los Angeles Times, August 16, 2017

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Credit Image: Gary Minnaert / Wikimedia

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery removed a monument commemorating Confederate veterans early Wednesday after hundreds of activists requested its removal and some threatened vandalism.

The move comes days after violence erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., over the city’s ordered removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The events triggered a national debate about similar monuments across the country.

Since 1925, the 6-foot monument has stood in the Confederate section of the cemetery, where more than 30 Confederate veterans, along with their families, are buried. The monument will be taken to a storage site within the next 24 hours, cemetery officials said, but the grave markers will remain.

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Hollywood Forever was fielding as many as 60 calls and emails a day from people requesting the cemetery get rid of the monument, said Tyler Cassity, the cemetery’s president and co-owner.

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On Tuesday, someone vandalized the granite boulder monument, Cassity said, using a black marker to write “No” across its bronze plaque.

Cassity said he reached out to the Long Beach chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which owns the monument and ultimately made the decision to take it down to prevent further acts of vandalism.

“I was afraid to leave it overnight,” said a spokeswoman for the organization, who asked that her name not be used for fear of reprisal. “We have had the cemetery remove it until we decide what to do.”

Those calling for the monument’s removal are “erasing history,” she said.

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