WASHINGTON — Workers early Tuesday took down a Confederate monument outside the Howard County Circuit Court building in Ellicott City.
County Executive Allan Kittleman ordered the removal last week, but the process required a five-day public notice period before a decision could be made.
“It has become increasingly clear in recent weeks that memorials such as this are hurtful to many residents in our community and elsewhere,” said Kittleman, in a Facebook post. “Given these feelings and the tragedy in Charlottesville, I felt compelled to remove this memorial from public property.”
Kittleman and Howard County County Council Chair Jon Weinstein say they believe the more appropriate place for the monument would be a local museum.
“We cannot and should not erase the past. We must learn from it,” said Kittleman. “A museum offers context for us and for future generations to better understand our shared history.”
Weinstein encouraged the Howard County Historical Society to add the memorial to its Civil War collection.
The county said that according to Maryland Historical Trust records, the memorial was dedicated when the county had a commissioner form of government in 1948. No county officials were involved in its dedication, but Howard County Circuit Court Judge William Henry Forsythe Jr., whose father’s name is on the memorial, “appears to have been responsible for accepting and placing the memorial on the grounds of the court house,” the county’s Facebook page said.