Trumpet star Blanchard: Confederate statue removal historic

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Since May 11, crews have removed monuments to Jefferson Davis, president of the pro-slavery Confederacy and P.G.T. Beauregard, a Confederate general.

"Today we take another step in defining our City not by our past but by our bright future", said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

City officials said in a statement Tuesday evening that the Beauregard monument, the third Confederate monument targeted for removal, will come down over the next few hours.

Beauregard's statue, near City Park, was erected in 1915 in honor of the prominent general who led the attack on Fort Sumter in SC, a siege that marked the beginning of the Civil War. His statue sits at a traffic circle near the entrance to New Orleans City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

The Robert E. Lee statue was a familiar landmark for tourists and commuters who travel busy St. Charles Avenue by auto or on one of the city's historic streetcars.

Workers on the first two removals were forced to wear bulletproof vests, and had their faces covered for their own safety.

The monument was shown off for the first time to a crowd of hundreds - most being relatives of Confederate veterans - during closing ceremonies for the annual convention and reunion of the Louisiana Division of United Confederate Veterans, The Picayune reported.

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"These statues are not just stone and metal. These monuments celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, ignoring the terror that it actually stood for", he said. But the Louisiana city will take down a prominent statue of Lee on Friday. Mayor Mitch Landrieu took these photographs of the removal of the P.G.T. Beauregard statue and posted them on his verified Twitter page. Just last week, Civil District Court Kern Reese denied a third request for preliminary injunction specifically confirming City's right to move Beauregard. The city of New Orleans plans to take down the confederate statue on Friday, May 18, 2017, completing the so.

As part of the extra security Friday, police cordoned off a one-block radius around Lee Circle to cars in anticipation of protests. The website contained pictures of the killer posing with the Confederate battle flag in photos, recharging the debate over whether Confederate emblems represent racism or an honorable heritage.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu first proposed the removal of Confederate monuments in 2015, and the city council approved the decision past year. It's a bronze sculpture of Lee looking toward the northern horizon from atop a roughly 60-foot-tall column. Only nonprofits and government entities will be allowed to take part, and the city said the process will not include the Beauregard statue because of legal issues. They also can not be displayed outdoors on public property within the city.

The equestrian statue of Confederate Gen. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard honors the military leader who died in New Orleans in 1893.

The city wants to finish the work during its tricentennial year in 2018.

Jesse J. Holland covers race and ethnicity for The Associated Press.

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