Kansas City crews dismantle Confederate monument; Watch live

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSHB) -- Crews were prepared to remove the Confederate monument at 55th and Ward Parkway before dawn Friday morning. Representatives from the United Daughters of Confederacy reportedly want the monument moved to prevent further vandalism.

A contractor was scheduled to arrive with a crane shortly after sunrise to remove the 8,000-pound stone monument in smaller pieces. The crew will take the pieces to storage until the local UDC chapter decides what it wants to do with them. 

Vandals hit the monument earlier in August after media attention and public outcry led city council to discuss the issue. The Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department boarded up the monument in response. 

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.

This call for removal comes in the wake of violent clashes in Charlottesville over a Confederate statue. A Prairie Village man wrote a letter to the city several weeks ago bringing the issue to the attention of city leaders. 

In a letter to the parks and recreation board, a Prairie Village man called for removal of the monument, citing Mayor Sly James' recent response to the NAACP travel advisory for Missouri.

"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 wrote in the letter.

McHenry said the letter marks the first formal complaint about the Confederate statue on record.

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

Down the road, many want the name of the iconic horse fountain changed. It's currently named after J.C. Nichols, the man credited with creating the Plaza, but critics say his controversial history involving race and housing should not be associated with the fountain.

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