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Confederate Memorials Also Under Scrutiny In Kansas City

courtesy: Kansas City Parks and Recreation

The controversy surrounding Confederate statues and memorials across the United States has officials in Kansas City, Missouri scrutinizing one here. And it's in a very prominent spot: right in the middle of Ward Parkway, just south of 55th Street.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy Memorial is easy to miss. There are no soldiers or cannons. It's just a limestone column, 9 feet high, flanked by a couple of stone benches with a Confederate battle flag crossing the flag of the Union carved into the rock. 

A group called the United Daughters of the Confederacy dedicated it in 1934 in memory of "the Loyal Women of the Old South." The monument has been located in the parkway since 1958, when it was moved from its previous site near the entrance to the Country Club Plaza at 47th and J.C. Nichols Parkway. 

Kansas City Parks and Recreation department has been fielding increasing calls and complaints about the monument. "Some are calling for its removal," said Parks officials in a statement released on Wednesday.

The Board of Parks Commissioners will be "reviewing the message on the monument in the context of today's moral perspectives and sensibilities." The board plans to take public comments at its next meeting on August 29.

Frank Morris is a national correspondent and senior editor at KCUR 89.3. You can reach him on Twitter @FrankNewsman.

I’ve been at KCUR almost 30 years, working partly for NPR and splitting my time between local and national reporting. I work to bring extra attention to people in the Midwest, my home state of Kansas and of course Kansas City. What I love about this job is having a license to talk to interesting people and then crafting radio stories around their voices. It’s a big responsibility to uphold the truth of those stories while condensing them for lots of other people listening to the radio, and I take it seriously. Email me at frank@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @FrankNewsman.
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