(This was written after Charleston and before Charlottesville.
Opinions change and grow.)
We can neither hold to the Confederate memorials on Monument Avenue any more than we can let go of the century old bronze statues that define “The City of Monuments”. It is the classic “horns of a dilemma” to which we hold — neither alternative provides any satisfaction as you and the bull whose horns you’re holding charge down the avenue.
It began with the senseless murders of nine people in a church basement where they welcomed a stranger to pray with them. On the grounds of the Statehouse in South Carolina, the first to secede from the Union, the Stars and Bars were lowered for the final time. Flag, monument and street sign came down across the “New South.”
What began in Charleston in 1861 will end as it did before — in Virginia. On Monument Avenue. Should the monuments stay, should the monuments go, should the other 99% of Virginia history be mentioned? The eyes of a nation will be on the “Capital of the Confederacy.”
We can do ourselves proud. We can go beyond expectations.
Hold on. Let go.