Bay Ridge church removes plaques honoring Confederate general

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BAY RIDGE -

A Bay Ridge church has removed plaques honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee following last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

It took about 20 minutes to remove two plaques that sat at the church for more than 100 years.

The tree plaques honor Lee and mark the location of a tree that was actually planted by Lee when he was stationed at Fort Hamilton from 1842-1847. That tree died, and others were planted, but the plaques remained at St. John's Episcopal Church on Fort Hamilton Parkway until Tuesday.

The church itself has been closed since 2014 and is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island. Bishop Lawrence Provenzano says Lee fought against the United States to preserve slavery and that the plaques needed to go.

Provenzano says the plaques won't be destroyed, but will be placed into the archive at the diocese headquarters on Long Island.

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