Robert E. Lee Memorial Removed From Tree at Fort Hamilton Church

(DNAINFO)  Caroline Spivack | August 16, 2017 — Church officials Wednesday removed a memorial to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that was first mounted to a tree outside St. Johns Episcopal Church in Fort Hamilton more than 100 years ago.

Officials with the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island took down the commemorative plaque after a wave of violence swept Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend when white nationalists and neo-Nazis descended on the city to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue from a park.

“Given all of the circumstances that we as a nation have experienced over the last week and several months — the rhetoric that is part of our American culture today — it became very clear to all of us that this reminder of an oppressive time in our history really needs to be righted,” said Bishop Lawrence Provenzano at a Wednesday news conference. “That no one should [have to] walk by here,particularly members of the African-American community whose ancestors were the victims of slavery, and be reminded of the past.”

The removal came at the urging of Lutheran Minister Khader El-Yateem, who is running for the 43rd District City Council seat. He said he feels the memorial has no place on city streets and should instead be preserved as a piece of the nation’s history.

“General Lee needs to be in the history books, not our streets,” El-Yateem told DNAinfo New York. “These are people who fought to preserve slavery and should not be celebrated. This is not about erasing history — it’s about making sure we remember it in the appropriate way.”

Source: Robert E. Lee Memorial Removed From Tree at Fort Hamilton Church – Fort Hamilton – New York – DNAinfo