HARRISONBURG, Va (WHSV) — On Monday, Charlottesville City Council voted 3-2 to sell the Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park.
This comes after the council voted by the same margin earlier this year to remove the statue.
The council’s decision on the future of the nearly century-old statue commemorating the Confederate general has sparked conversation well beyond Charlottesville and throughout the Shenandoah Valley.
It was met with a lot of adversity, including from people in Harrisonburg. We spoke with a local Sons of Confederate Veterans Commander, who says things like the statue and the Confederate battle flag do not stand for slavery, and insists the Civil War was not started because of slavery. He says because of the common misconceptions, some people take offense with Confederate history.
“I’m sickened, I’m devastated, I’m very angry about it,” Philip Way, Commander of Sons of Confederate Veterans in Harrisonburg, said. “I, being a Christian, am trying not to let my heart get eaten away by these things, but our nation, our history and our heritage is being sucked out.” He added that he’d like to see the statue stay where it is, but if not, he would want his organization to purchase it.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans has joined forces with the Monument Fund and about a dozen private citizens to file a lawsuit against the city council, arguing that the city is violating Virginia’s monument protection law, acting outside the authority delegated by the General Assembly, and violating the terms of Paul Goodloe McIntire’s gifts.
McIntire is the one who originally donated the statue….