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Friday, November 9, 2018

Statues of heroes

So you lost the war.
Can you put a statue up to remember all the soldiers that died for your cause?

Not in the south of the US any more.  North Carolina has been pulling down the confederate statues.  It's considered somehow as if they are keeping the things the south fought for alive, like slavery.  A very small amount of the energy was directed for that cause...though it was of course the main reason according to the Yankees who won that conflict.  So the statues keep being pulled down.

Of course there's also the point that many southerners of today think the War of Northern Aggression (aka the Civil War) is still being fought...unfortunately.

So when Sepia Saturday prompted about statues, I had a few ready.

I was visiting Shelby, NC last week, Cleveland County courthouse has been turned into a shrine for Earl Scruggs...who was born here.  But that's not his statue out front! (Earl Scruggs is a well known country singer.)


It's a generic soldier in honor of the Confederate Heroes of Cleveland County. "Lest we forget."

 Chatham County NC has another old courthouse, which is restored and has a museum, in Pittsboro, NC.

And there's their Confederate soldier statue out front of the old courthouse.




I happened to visit this court house the day after another nearby confederate soldier statue was toppled in nearby Chapel Hill, NC

A news story said:
CBSN - Last Updated Aug 20, 2018 11:13 PM EDT
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The controversial "Silent Sam" statue at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has been toppled by protesters Monday night. CBS affiliate WNCN-TV writes that it was knocked down at 9:20 p.m. Protesters wanted the statue's immediate removal, even prompting one student to wear a noose around his neck until it was taken down.
Fall semester classes begin Tuesday, the station adds.
There were some tense moments between police and protesters. One person was arrested and charged with concealing one's face during a public rally and resisting arrest.
Students, faculty and alumni have called the statue a racist image and asked officials to remove it, though some argued it was a tribute to fallen ancestors.
(fake blood thrown on the pedestal)
The university confirmed Monday's protest in a tweet saying, "Tonight's actions were dangerous, and we are very fortunate that no one was injured."
Gov. Roy Cooper had called for removing "Silent Sam" and other rebel symbols on public land.
Still the Democratic governor issued a statement on Twitter Monday night arguing the protesters took the wrong approach to removing the statue. 
"The Governor understands that many people are frustrated by the pace of change and he shares their frustration, but violent destruction of public property has no place in our communities," said the tweet from his official account.
Word that the statue had fallen drew curious students out. 
"I heard the statue had come down, so I had to see it myself," said freshman Manuel Ricardo, who arrived after the statue was on the ground. 
The site of the empty pedestal "is pretty breathtaking," said Ricardo, who's African American. "I think most people here are happy. I'm ecstatic." 
Shortly after 10 p.m., a dozen officers were surrounding the fallen statue, which was eventually covered with a tarp next to its empty pedestal. 
Junior Ian Goodson said he came out after he heard the statue fell because he wanted to see history. 
"It's a significant event for UNC," he said. 
He said that while he doesn't agree with what the Confederacy stood for, he understands that some saw the statue as an important memorial. 
Asked whether he's glad the statue came down, he said: "I was always kind of torn." 
North Carolina, which ranks among the handful of Southern states with the most Confederate monuments, has been a focal point in the national debate over them following a deadly white nationalist protest a year ago in Charlottesville, Virginia. 
Protests over the UNC statue erected in 1913 have flared in the past year, and another Confederate monument in nearby Durham was torn down shortly after the Virginia protest.
I happen to prefer this statue, which stands for what I believe the United States of America was formed for...

5 comments:

tony said...

I tend to agree.
Build new statues & leave the old ones alone!
Statues (unlike Walls)shouldnt be pulled down .
Strange how people become animated by inanimate objects!

La Nightingail said...

The problem with the statues created in the south of their Civil War heroes is that they represent a shameful period in the history of this country and do not represent what this country is supposed to stand for. Still, in a way, it does seem sad to see statues torn down.

Kristin said...

I prefer the Statue of Liberty too.

Mike Brubaker said...

Commemoration requires artful diplomacy. The national monuments to the wars in Korea and Vietnam took decades before they were commissioned and even then the artists were challenged to get the right tone. After our civil war the battlefields became hallowed grounds and the various states veterans competed to erect their own monuments which seems very proper. But many of the so-called confederate monuments were erected in the 20s and 50s as a counter reaction to the civil rights movements. For the wars of the 21st century, which still continue without an end in sight, I'm unsure if we will ever find an appropriate way to memorialize that sacrifice.

ScotSue said...

We have in the UK a similar situation developing, particularly at universities where students are objecting to statues from the past of men they now object to e,g, on issues of being involved in the slave trade, of dubious actions in the colonization of the British empire etc. The statues reflected the thinking of the times when they were erected, and I am inclined to,think they should stand, as long as we are educated on the change in how we regard them. A very interesting post.