Ocala mayor Kent Guinn faced backlash this week after he presented a proclamation recognizing Confederate Memorial Day.
On Tuesday, the mayor of Ocala issued a proclamation: declaring April 26th "Confederate Memorial Day." It was so controversial he held a news conference
"I just know what I did, I didn't do anything wrong. I honored some veterans and that's it,” Mayor Guinn said.
The mayor presented the proclamation at a city council meeting. At the meeting the council president made her own "proclamation"
"It is history and that's where it should stay in the history books," council president Mary Rich responded.
The proclamation says in part it was in April the war ended a "civil conflict that tore a nation in two" and that the proclamation is an attempt to better understand the conflict and passions "that pitted brother against brother and tore a nation apart."
The mayor said the united daughters of the confederacy asked him to issue the proclamation. He did it and said they've had very similar proclamations before.
But for Mary Rich and others it is a painful reminder of a painful time "and nothing pleasant happened to my ancestors during the confederacy," Rich said.
"They want to reward the confederate soldiers for their service: and I am agreement they were soldiers whether union or confederates, but we have a Memorial Day for that," said Ire Bethea an Ocala resident.
In Ocala only the mayor has the authority to issue proclamations and the mayor said… If asked to issue a proclamation honoring confederate soldiers next year… He would.