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Blue Ribbon Commission Reflects on First Public Forum

Posted: Updated: Aug 11, 2016 10:44 PM
The Blue Ribbon Commission met Thursday The Blue Ribbon Commission met Thursday
Frank Dukes, Blue Ribbon Commission member Frank Dukes, Blue Ribbon Commission member
Margaret O'Bryant, Blue Ribbon Commission member Margaret O'Bryant, Blue Ribbon Commission member
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Charlottesville’s Blue Ribbon Commission reflected on its first public forum which took place on two weeks ago on July 27.

At an open meeting Thursday night, commissioners shared their thoughts on some of the public testimonies they have heard up until this point.

The nine member commission is tasked with evaluating the city's Confederate memorials, statues, and public spaces.

Some people say the existing monuments bind them to their heritage and to their descendents, while others are concerned that they are offensive.

Many commissioners were moved by some of the stories told by the older members who lived during a time when African-Americans knew they were not supposed to go into downtown Charlottesville’s Lee Park.

“People who have lived here all their lives - that doesn't invalidate other ideas that came from other people - but those were the ones that really spoke to me,” said Frank Dukes, Blue Ribbon Commission member.

“The majority of people who spoke were in favor of keeping the statues there but I think that of all of those people, I can't remember any who said that we should not further expand our recognition,” said Margaret O’Bryant, Blue Ribbon Commission member.

The commission is planning a bus tour which will include stops at several places including Court Square, Lee Park, and the Drewary J. Brown Memorial Bridge.

The tour is scheduled for Saturday, August 13.

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