Virginia Removes Confederate Statue from U.S. CapitolBreaking News
tags: memorials, Confederacy, Virginia
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia’s statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee was removed from the United States Capitol overnight. A representative from the governor’s office was present for the removal along with United States Senator Tim Kaine and Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton.
Each state is entitled to display two statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection, and for 111 years, the Confederate statue has stood along with America’s first president George Washington as Virginia’s contributions. The two statues were added in 1909, which was 44 years after the Confederacy rebelled against the United States and was defeated. The Lee statue had been one among 13 located in the Crypt of the Capitol, representing the 13 original colonies.
“We should all be proud of this important step forward for our Commonwealth and our country,” said Governor Northam. “The Confederacy is a symbol of Virginia’s racist and divisive history, and it is past time we tell our story with images of perseverance, diversity, and inclusion. I look forward to seeing a trailblazing young woman of color represent Virginia in the U.S. Capitol, where visitors will learn about Barbara Johns’ contributions to America and be empowered to create positive change in their communities just like she did.”
Earlier this year, Governor Northam signed legislation establishing the Commission for Historical Statues in the United States Capitol charged with studying the removal and replacement of the Robert E. Lee statue. The eight-member commission, chaired by State Senator Louise Lucas, voted unanimously on July 24, 2020 to recommend removal of the statue. At the request of the Commission, the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond, Virginia will accept ownership of the statue.
“Confederate images do not represent who we are in Virginia, that’s why we voted unanimously to remove this statue,” said Senator Louise Lucas. “I am thrilled that this day has finally arrived, and I thank Governor Northam and the Commission for their transformative work.”
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