LANCASTER, PA – After complaints from a handful of citizens, Lancaster City Council took swift action today and began the removal of the iconic Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Penn Square. The memorial will be replaced with a new memorial to refugees.
“It’s about time we took down these memorials of hate” stated local activist Anita Wyderbox.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is a 43-foot (13 m) tall Gothic Revival memorial that was dedicated on July 4, 1874. The monument’s original intention was to pay tribute to Lancastrian Union soldiers killed during the American Civil War. However, today the Soldiers and Sailors Monument also represents those who have served in subsequent American military conflicts.
The 1744 Treaty of Lancaster between the British and Iroquois was signed in the old Lancaster courthouse which stood on the site of the monument at the time.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument also stands on the exact spot where the Second Continental Congress met during the American Revolutionary War on September 27, 1777, in the old Lancaster Courthouse. The courthouse later burned down in 1784. The monument has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since April 2, 1973.
The monument will be relocated to Harrisburg’s Civil War Museum.
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