California confronts its Confederate past as monuments are abruptly removed

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The backhoe crept into the graveyard as the city lay still.

It had come for the six-foot granite monument with the bronze plaque, a salute to the Confederate Army veterans interred below.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery had housed the marker since 1925, but the recent events in Charlottesville, Va., had sparked phone calls, emails and social media rants calling for its removal. An online petition circulated. Vandalism threats were made. By Tuesday, the word “No” had been written across the monument in black. The staff of a generally beloved institution was overwhelmed; the monument owners uneasy.

And so at 3 a.m. Wednesday, the monument aged with a green patina was excavated, covered with a blue tarp and carted away in a pickup, a patch of fresh sod patted into its place.


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