Original Nominees for Fla. Veterans' Hall of Fame Cause Controversy

It was a fleeting moment during this morning's cabinet meeting, but what sounded like business-as-usual was actually an embarrassing retreat.

The cabinet chose to bury a list of nominees to the new Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame - a list compiled by Governor Scott's own Department of Veterans' Affairs included six former governors.

All of them fought for the confederate army.

Not one was a minority.

And now, Governor Scott acknowledges the insensitivity.

"It needs to represent the history of our state, I think... I think, probably, a wide group of individuals and a lot of different history, different wars and different issues that people have dealt with."

They may have been the military heroes of their day, but that was 150-years ago, back when political correctness was only an afterthought. It was also before scores of minorities had begun to fight and even die in America's modern wars, especially recent wars like Iraq and Afghanistan.

There is a Vietnam veteran on the list - Governor Scott himself. He served 29 months as a navy radar technician.

Willie Harris and Deanna Powell don't care about that.-They don't even mind a few confederates making the hall of fame, but they say more diversity is a must.

"I mean, people did a lot of work, you've got to give them some type of recognition," Deanna said.

"I'll give credit where credit is due, and I just don't think that everybody didn't get the proper recognition. Fair is fair," said Willie.

That may be the guiding principle behind a new list.

When asked if it's fair to have governors who served in the Confederacy appointed to the hall of fame, Governor Scott responded, "I don't know; I'd have to think about that."

And in so doing, he'll have to think about the past, a rich but divisive time in Florida history, and what it means today.

The Department of Veterans Affairs says Governor Scott was not involved in creating the initial list of nominees. Each of the 22 men picked as candidates just happened to be Florida governors.


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