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Officials remove Confederate memorial in Ellicott City

A confederate memorial was removed from outside the Circuit Courthouse in Ellicott City overnight.

A Confederate memorial in Ellicott City was removed overnight and will be donated to a local museum, Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman said in a Facebook post Tuesday.

The memorial, located outside the Howard County Circuit Courthouse, was dedicated Sept. 23, 1948 by Howard County Circuit Court Judge William Henry Forsyth Jr., whose father's name is on the memorial, Kittleman said. He began taking steps to have the memorial removed on Aug 16.

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Kittleman said that we can learn from the past even though history "cannot and should not be erased." He added that moving the monument to a museum will offer "context for us and for future generations to better understand our shared history."

"It has become increasingly clear in recent weeks that memorials such as this are hurtful to many residents in our community and elsewhere," Kittleman said in a statement. "Given these feelings and the tragedy in Charlottesville, I felt compelled to remove this memorial from public property."

County Council Chair Jon Weinstein said that last week's protest by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia prompted a "renewed sense of urgency" in the memorial's removal. He said he encouraged the Howard County Historical Society to add the memorial to its Civil War collection.

Weinstein said it is imperative to remember that the monuments like this represent hate and "cause many people pain."

"The monument is not representative of who we are as a community today and does not belong on grounds of a building that represents justice," he said.

The removal of this memorial comes after Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh decided last week to take down the four Confederate-linked monument in the city overnight. In Annapolis Friday, officials removed a state of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who composed the 1857 Dred Scott decision upholding slavery.

On Monday, a monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus was vandalized in Baltimore City. Baltimore Police said they are looking into the incident.

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