Florida

Centennial Park Soldier Takes a New Direction

Centenary Park

A special monument turns and does not face the river, which attracts attention.

Centennial Park Soldier It symbolizes freedom from slavery and commemorates the 19,000 black soldiers who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

The statue of the Centennial Park Soldier turns to the unusual Friends display and downtown. (Credit: WINK News)

Lee County is named for Confederate leader Robert E. Lee. Centennial Park Soldiers have been asked to pay tribute to the victorious side, including black soldiers in the fight to keep the Union alive.

The man who worked to turn the soldiers on Friday was smiling.

For many years, the U.S. Colored Corps Memorial faced Caloosahatchie. Due to renovations to Centennial Park, it is no longer functional.

“They are now trying to right their wrongs because they said, ‘He’s looking in the wrong direction,'” said community activist David Kelly.

soldiers
The Soldiers Statue in Centennial Park has turned and is facing a new direction. (Credit: WINK News)

David Kelly and Denise are frequent visitors downtown. They agree with the city’s decision to send soldiers from the USCT’s 2nd Regiment to the Uncommon Friends display and throughout downtown.

“Everybody should see it as a black soldier and he deserves recognition,” Dennis said.

Rodovich Kimble wanted change. He remembers when the city dedicated the statue in the early 2000s. “The importance of African soldiers playing their part and fighting for their own freedom gives this community a lot of positivity,” said Kimble. To say that we fight for freedom, just as we fight for freedom.”

Kimble said that while this is progress, there is still much work to be done within the community to showcase the role of Black people in Lee County. His next priority is to force the county to remove the portrait of Robert E. Lee from the courthouse.

Centennial Park Soldier Takes a New Direction

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