Charlottesville City Counselor Kristin Szakos says it's time for a discussion about what Charlottesville's historic Confederate statues are saying about this community. One of the options she's proposing is pulling Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson down off of their stone perches.
Szakos questioned their relevance at a Festival of the Book luncheon about the Civil War Thursday.
Szakos said, "I think those are conversations that we should be having as a community. As how do we see ourselves? What is our history? What does it mean to us now?"
When asked if the statues should be torn down Szakos stated, "I don't know. I think we should have that conversation."
Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society President Steven Meeks says tearing them down would be like rewriting history.
"It is a part of our heritage and our culture," he stated. "I think it's a part of the history of this city and a part of our culture and it should remain in place. These were given to the city for a specific purpose and they should remain there."
The monuments were an early 20th century gift to the city financed by Paul McIntire, the namesake for McIntire Park. The Jackson statue was dedicated in 1921. McIntire deeded the land to Charlottesville on the condition that no other statues would be placed in the park. Lee's statue was dedicated in 1924. The Confederate "Common Soldier" statue predates both and is from 1909. It was paid for with private donations.
Szakos Questions Relevance of Confederate StatuesMore>>
Derick Waller joined the NBC 29 news team in August, 2010. Prior to this, Derick graduated with degrees in both broadcast journalism and political science from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story
Thursday, July 24 2014 5:06 PM EDT2014-07-24 21:06:07 GMT
Virginia State Police say two were killed and at least 20 injured when a fierce storm slammed a campground on the state's Eastern Shore.Full Story
The sky turned black and cellphones pinged with emergency messages. Moments later, a tornado ripped through a sprawling, carnival-like campground Thursday, snapping dozens of trees and flipping over RVs.Full Story