Letter asks city to remove confederate monument on Ward Parkway

Posted at 1:17 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 12:15:58-04

Kansas City Parks & Recreation is reviewing a letter submitted to the board requesting the removal of the United Daughters of the Confederacy Memorial on 55th and Ward Parkway.

The memorial was erected in 1934 to honor the Confederate women left behind during the Civil War. It was initially located at the entrance to the Country Club Plaza but was moved in 1958. 

In a letter to the parks & recreation board, a Prairie Village man calls for removal of the statue, citing Mayor Sly James' recent response to a NAACP travel advisory. "Removal of the UDC Memorial would be a concrete step for Kansas City to officially back up these comments in support of diversity and equality in our community," he goes on to write.

This call for removal comes in the wake of violent clashes in Charlottesville over a Confederate statue. The city of Baltimore removed four monuments overnight.

The problem is that here in Kansas City, leaders have no process for even beginning the debate sweeping the country.

"It's something that's coming to us for the first time," KCMO Parks & Recreation Director Mark McHenry said.

McHenry added removal would need to involve partnerships with city hall and the people who funded the memorial in the first place. Plus, they'd need public input to remove the monument.

"We need to study that and make sure that we follow some good protocol and make some good decisions before anything would take place," he said.

McHenry said Tuesday's letter marks the first formal complaint about the Confederate statue.