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Letter: Leave the monument in place

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

The Mathews Confederate Monument is not a monument to slavery. It is a monument to the brave men and boys who chose to defend the culture of southern Virginia as it existed in the mid-1800s. To assert that the monument is otherwise is to deliberately mischaracterize the monument and the motivations of those for whom it stands.

The monument has stood for more than 100 years. In those 100 years, the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified; Jim Crow laws throughout Virginia were struck down as unconstitutional and black Virginians were elected to high office, including the governorship, the state Senate and to the Board of Supervisors of Mathews County. The monument stands as a celebratory symbol of social and political progress.

In the summer of 2020, it has become fashionable in certain lawless circles to demand the striking down of historic cultural symbols and, when such demands are not met, to riot and destroy them.

It seems opportun...

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