Setting record straight on letter

Published 7:11 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Regarding the “Remove monument” letter in last week’s Smithfield Times, one factual correction, please, to the letter written by my friend and Master of Science in Education mentor, Jerry Tenney. He says the monument is “… in front of the courthouse, which all citizens must pass seeking justice.” This is not so.

Judicial proceedings have not been held in our 1801 Courthouse building since 1980. Such matters were subsequently conducted in the nearby George F. Whitley courthouse building and, beginning in 2010, our new Young-Laine courts building. One has not had to walk by our historic memorial edifice to seek justice in the lesser part of a half century.

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Must we “culture cancel” some citizens in order to make space for the history of others? No. Within the borders of our more than 300-square-mile county there is room enough for all to honor their ancestors. We must not deny but recognize and commemorate the social and human progress we have made here in Isle of Wight County, and indeed the whole country, since 1964.

The recent wanton demolition of revered historic structures has not “unified” us at all but separated us even farther apart.


Albert P. Burckard Jr.