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Pensacola Ignores Litigation Process: Begins Cenotaph Removal

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release

CITY OF PENSACOLA IGNORES LITIGATION PROCESS

BEGINS CENOTAPH REMOVAL

Pensacola - The City of Pensacola began the process of dismantling the historic Ladies Memorial Association Cenotaph in Lee Square this morning, despite pending litigation that, if successful, would have to be reversed. The lawsuit originally filed on July 14, 2020 in State Court by the Ladies Memorial Association and others was "removed" by the City to Federal Court and to a federal judge that pre-judged the case and ultimately dismissed it last week.   "We believe, like in St. Augustine and Lakeland, the fix was in against history," said David McCallister, attorney for the Ladies Memorial Association, et al. Federal Judge  M. Casey Rodgers threw out the lawsuit saying the Ladies did not have 'standing' or the right to come to bring their complaint to court.  She based her decision, in part, on a similar, but much different case in Lakeland, Florida.  This was despite the fact that the State Court Judge Bergosh, had issued a restraining order preventing the City from interfering with the Cenotaph. The Ladies filed a notice of intent to appeal the decision last Wednesday along with a request to re-instate the temporary restraining order pending appeal.  But the potential threat of the 11th District Appeals Court in Atlanta reversing the decision didn't stop the City from going ahead with their radical plan to eliminate the Cenotaph from its historic site and removing it to an undisclosed storage location. The Cenotaph is part of the North Hill National Register Historic Preservation District and is historically significant for several reasons including that it the only historic structure in the District that is not a building. Gail Jessee, President of the Ladies Memorial Association said "it is disturbing and disappointing that the City of Pensacola saw fit not only to ignore its own historic preservation process but also to disregard the legal process, as well".  "We look forward to the day when the efforts by our predecessors will be recognized for what they were, a sincere desire to honor the memory of those who perished for their community and their family and nothing more" she added. The City of Pensacola has been victimized by several natural disasters since the July 14, 2020 decision by the City Council, but despite millions of dollars of property damage, and the closure of an important bridge splitting the City in half, the highest priority seems to be eliminating this historic landmark to dead veterans from the area. "If the ladies win, the City will have to put it back" McCallister concluded.

SAVE SOUTHERN HERITAGE Inc. is a not for profit corporation that educates & advocates on behalf of Southern Heritage & History.  It was started in 2015 in response to the knee-jerk Anti-Southern institutionalized bullying and “Eracism” levied against the people of South Carolina by Governor Nikki Haley, after she broke all previous agreements about how South Carolina’s historical veterans and their symbols should be treated and respected. The Florida branch was activated in mid-January 2016, in response to three initiatives in the Florida Legislature that are part of a hate campaign led by Anti-American extremists, who refuse to respect the various cultures that make up the fabric of Florida’s society.  Since that time, it has grown in membership and has been active in battles over American History and throughout Florida including the “We’ll Remember in November Campaign” that resulted in #heritagehater candidates to lose elections in Florida and others to win.   More info: www.sshfl.org.

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