No good purpose for monument

Published 4:49 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

As I sat at the Isle of Wight Courthouse, gazing at this memorial, this Confederate statue, supposedly erected in honor of fallen Confederate soldiers, I searched my soul for a connection to this monument.

This Confederate monument that sits at the courthouse, in a county in which I was raised, raised my children and now enjoy my grandchildren, family and friends, what is the connection to this statue for all citizens in Isle of Wight? Surely, this monument erected in 1905, 40 years after the Civil War ended and 41 years before I was born, stands as a symbol for something, but what and for whom?

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Google defines the role of a monument as something used to communicate an idea, value or make a statement about an individual who someone believes should be remembered. This soldier fought on the losing side of a war, or is the war still ongoing? The Confederate soldiers fought to keep slavery, but the law abolished the right to own slaves. However, culturally, the Confederate monuments were built to intimidate black people and to champion white supremacy.

Since this statue does not have a positive connection to all citizens in Isle of Wight County, and because of its negative symbolism, we should remove and destroy the statue.  Bury the statue, get some new knowledge, and lead Isle of Wight into being a county where all citizens are positively connected.

Rev. Willie Williams