Virginia City Removes Nearly 100-Year-Old Statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee
The City of Charlottesville, Virginia, has decided to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that has stood in a city park for nearly 100 years, reports say.
In a three to two vote, the Charlottesville City Council decided to eliminate the equestrian statue memorializing the Confederate hero that was first erected 93 years ago in the city’s Lee park. After the vote, city leaders also vowed to erase Lee’s name from the park, CBS reported.
The final anti-Lee vote was cast by Councilman Bob Fenwick who said afterward, “There is not just one way to honor history. Particularly at the expense of our neighbors.”
The city said it would cost around $300,000 to remove the long-standing memorial to the famed Confederate General.
Both Mayor Mike Signer and Councilor Kathy Galvin said they were very uncomfortable with the high cost of removing the statue.
The meeting was contentious as the pro-Lee and anti-Lee forces clashed. At one point, police even ejected at least four people from the meeting.
Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy pleaded for “understanding.”
“Just because we disagree on this issue doesn’t mean anyone who disagrees with me is my enemy,” he said. “The only way for us to move forward is for us to love each other, understand each other, and that we have to do this together.”
Whitewashing Confederate history is an ingoing effort for cities throughout those areas where civil war battles were waged 150 years ago. Recently a battle was waged in New Orleans to remove all the city’s many civil war monuments.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at .