Editor, The Smithfield Times:
I am not sure what the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors has to consider regarding the monument. Now is the time to remove the Confederate memorial from in front of the courthouse, which all citizens must pass seeking justice.
Governments all over our commonwealth and all over our country have been removing similar powerful symbols that are representative of an unjust part of history. On Jan. 6th, we saw the Gettysburg of white supremacists and domestic terrorists. What did they carry into the halls of our Congress as they sought to usurp American democracy? A Confederate flag was carried through the Capitol. The symbolism of the Confederacy is being used to rally extremists. Allowing the monument to stand in place is sending a negative message to the present and the future.
I understand our citizens who want to honor their ancestors. While I don’t condone the cause, I understand. My grandfather was a participant. Honor your ancestors with a memorial in a cemetery.
This isn’t complicated. The Board of Supervisors must have courage. Stop finding ways to delay the removal. Once it is down, if someone wants it in a cemetery, give it to them.
We did not elect you to lead us into the past. We have children and grandchildren. Please lead us into the future.