As the Charleston shootings have renewed and strengthened calls to eliminate the Confederate flag as a symbol of government in the southern United States, a Capitol Hill memorial to the soldiers of the Confederacy here in the Pacific Northwest has again been targeted.
Monday morning workers at 15th Ave E’s Lake View Cemetery were painstakingly scrubbing the porous granite of the United Confederate Veterans Memorial to remove a spray painted message against “white supremacy.”
The 89-year-old memorial hewn from a “10-ton” block of “Stone Mountain, Georgia” rock was created by the Seattle chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy reportedly with money raised at “Dixie Day” during the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Expo. Rather than some kind of early 20th Century historical revisionists, the group included the actual daughters and wives of Confederate soldiers living in Seattle.
— Teamstrannon (@Teamstrannon) July 6, 2015
The memorial has been targeted before in a much more damaging fashion. In 2005, parts of the bronze work including an insignia, cross of honor, crossed bayonets, and a bronze plaque of Robert E. Lee’s head were stripped and stolen but have since been restored. The memorial was included in this recent Crosscut article — Confederate symbols also blight the Northwest.
Just north of Lake View, the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 200 Union Army veterans and wives.
A worker at Lake View Monday morning said that power washing and more gentle scrubbing was making slow progress in removing the spray paint. Seattle Police did not have any additional information about the crime. Lake View’s sprawling campus includes more than 40,000 grave sites and memorials.
Tuesday night, the NAACP and the United Black Christian Clergy are planning a “March and Rally in Solidarity With the Charleston 9” starting at 6 PM at 14th Ave’s First AME Church. In June, the church hosted a memorial for the nine people killed by a suspected white supremacist in Charleston.