Editor: I was disappointed to learn that the Board of Supervisors decided not to attempt to change the state law restricting local authorities from removing monuments located in their jurisdictions. Who knows what the odds would have been of our representatives in Richmond ever agreeing to do so. It would at least have sent a message of necessary change.
The State of Virginia already has the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, a fitting location for monuments of Confederate soldiers and military leaders. Citizens from Virginia and all over America are not demanding removal of these monuments because they wish to ignore the past. They have simply come to the realization that there is a time and a place for everything. Not being able to consider the real, honest, reasonable and true feelings of these citizens is unfortunate and will not serve us well going forward. Asking an African-American to ignore the presence of a Confederate soldier at the entrance to a courthouse where he or she seeks justice is unreasonable to put it mildly. and adding a Union soldier to the site completely misses the obvious point. It’s about the former oppressor (the Confederacy) and building monuments to them in front of a courthouse where the former oppressed seek justice today.
This idea that there is some slippery slope to removing monuments of former slave owners like Jefferson and Washington is an irresponsible attempt to avoid the terrible truth. The Confederate flag and monuments to its soldiers and military leaders belong in museums, not to be ignored but rather to be put in proper perspective in the 21st century. The Confederacy was about taking up arms against your country, the highest crime possible. If that highest of crimes were not enough, it was, in large part, to preserve the practice of enslaving other human beings in order to assist in the continuation of a robust economy. And finally, it resulted in the deaths of more Americans than in all of our other wars combined. Worthy of historical preservation? Absolutely. But as I said earlier, there is a time and a place for everything. Public spaces and especially a courthouse are not the places and the 21st century is not the time.
And not for nothing but, I don’t see sports teams holding ceremonies, handing out rings and raising banners for losing seasons. Do their fans remember those seasons? Sure they do. Do they memorialize them? Of course not.
Peter Homes, Leesburg