TAMPA, Fla. — A state representative from Penscola has filed a bill to stop the removal of war memorials in the state of Florida, like Confederate monuments.
Representative Mike Hill filed legislation in December titled the Soldiers' and Heroes' Monuments and Memorials Protection Act. It would not only protect war memorials like Confederate statues but also memorials for first responders. The bill would stop the removal of memorials that are on public land unless they need to be restored or refurbished.
House Bill 97 is not the first of its kind legislation to move through Tallahassee, a similar bill was filed years ago.
David McCallister, the Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Judah P. Benjamin Camp said if a bill passed then it would have stopped the controversy over the Confederate monument in Hillsborough County.
In 2017, a debate over the monument sitting on public land ended with its removal and relocation to a private cemetery in Brandon.
McCallister said the debate is not just over Confederate monuments, but in Pensacola there is a movement to take down a World War II memorial. He adds that a bill to protect war memorials would stop this.
"They should not be removed because we should respect each others heritage," he said. "We should respect the sacrifices that are made."