OCALA, Fla. — A proclamation approved by city leaders Tuesday for a Confederate Memorial Day is rankling some citizens.
- Ocala designated April 26 Confederate Memorial Day
- Mayor said it was requested by the Daughters of the Confederacy
- Florida already observes the day as a legal holiday
The proclamation designates April 26 as Confederate Memorial Day, saying the day was already designated a legal holiday in Florida as a "time in which to honor the memories of those who sacrified their lives in the War Between the States."
The day is also meant to "gain a better understanding of the conflicting ideals and passions that pitted brother against brother."
The proclamation also points out that, in proportion to its population, "the State of Florida lent more soldiers, sailors and livestock to the Confederate Cause than did any other Southern state."
At a news conference Wednesday, Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn said he didn't see an issue with the proclamation, since it had not been an issue in the past. He said it was only about honoring the county's veterans, and the Daughters of the Confederacy had requested the proclamation.
Critics, however, question why a Confederate Memorial Day is needed for veterans when there is already Memorial Day in May.
Florida does observe Confederate Memorial Day as a legal holiday. Efforts to remove the holiday died in the Florida Legislature in 2018.