Ground breaks for ‘War Between the States’ Memorial
Dozens whose relatives fought for the Confederacy during the four-year Civil War gathered with others from Hillsborough County on Saturday to remember.
Just prior to the Confederate Memorial Day ceremony, a committee of military veterans and other volunteers held a ceremonial groundbreaking for a monument dedicated to those from Hillsborough County who fought and died during the war, referred to by many as the War Between the States.
Re-enactors in period costumes mingled with suited members of the United Sons of the Confederacy and the white dress-clad United Daughters of the Confederacy who had gathered for the occasion.
They sang Dixie, the Confederate national anthem, and they saluted the Confederate flag. But prior to that, they all stood as the American flag came forward.
David McAllister, co-chairman of the county committee designing and raising funds for the War Between the States monument, spoke of its importance and of the grand plan for Veterans Memorial Park.
“Several years ago, Hillsborough County set its sights on a world class veterans’ park,” McAllister said. While the county began upgrading the park’s infrastructures, volunteers began raising funds for 12 memorials to military veterans. Among those was the Vietnam memorial dedicated in 2011 and the Iraq war memorial, expected to be dedicated in December.
Before the monument to the Civil War goes up, there is a lot more fund-raising to do, McAllister said, but it is moving ahead.
“All the monuments are dedicated to the county’s war dead, from the Seminole Indian War to Afghanistan” and for future conflicts, said committee co-chairman Dave Braun. “I am especially honored to be here, as a Yankee from the north who has come to appreciate southern heritage in a big way,” Braun said.
“All those who fought in the War Between the States served valiantly and all are due the respect of the American public,” Braun said. “We hope by the end of the year (the monument) will be up.”
Braun put out a call to other veterans who might be interested in helping to design and raise money for any of the remaining memorials. “This is grassroots coming together and making this happen,” he said.
Brenna Rutland, president of the Augusta Jane Evans Wilson Chapter 2040 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) said she was very pleased to see the county put up a memorial to Confederate veterans. “I can’t wait to see it finished.”
Lunellev Siegel, of the UDC memorial committee said she, too, is thrilled to see the county recognize those from Hillsborough County who served during the war, which took place between 1861 and 1865.
To learn more about the memorials going in at Veterans Memorial Park, visit www.veteransparkhc.com.