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We asked 28 local officials about Leesburg’s Confederate statue. Here’s what they had to say.

Times-Mirror File Photo
Following the deadly protests in Charlottesville and renewed calls to relocate or remove Confederate monuments from public spaces around the country, we asked Loudoun's local and state lawmakers as well as Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-10th) if they think the Confederate statue that sits on the courthouse grounds in Leesburg should be removed or relocated. Here’s what they had to say.

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-10th) -- Supports adding context to current Confederate statue in Leesburg without moving it

“Virginia's 10th District's heritage community and experts have been respectfully including many voices in this discussion for years -- teaching about the evils of slavery and racism, and adding the broader picture of our history in a Commonwealth at the center of this historic American conflict. I support building more statues and adding to our history; not tearing down statues or erasing our history. Our community has been adding to our local African American history through efforts at sites such as Oatlands Plantation, Manassas National Battlefield Park, The Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum, The Journey Through Hallowed Ground, Josephine City, and many more of our local museums and historic sites, cemeteries, and battlefields where more context, explanation, and preservation will continue. I have worked with our community in support of these efforts which I believe demonstrate that we are at our best when we bring our diverse community together and call upon the ‘better angels of our nature’ to educate, illuminate, and stop the division.”

Loudoun County Board of Supervisors:

Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) -- Supports moving the Confederate statue

Chairwoman Randall supports moving the statue to a different location than the courthouse grounds. She said history should be remembered “but not all history should be celebrated.”

Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles) -- Won’t say

“Regarding the statue, of course at this juncture it is premature for the county to even consider the issue because we don't have the authority to make any changes. Should we ever gain that authority, I'd like to learn more about the context by which it was placed, and get input from others (perhaps the Heritage Commission, for instance) before I made any decisions about it.”

Supervisor Koran Saines (D-Sterling) -- Supports moving the Confederate statue

“In a 1866 letter to a fellow Confederate General, Robert E. Lee wrote, 'I think it wiser not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.' As far as I know no battles were fought on the courthouse grounds, and thus the removal of the monument to somewhere such as Ball's Bluff Cemetery, where soldiers actually fought, died and are laid to rest would be more appropriate than its current location. Regardless, it is my strong belief that what happened last night at the Leesburg Courthouse was wrong and unacceptable. Vandalism is illegal and should not be considered by anyone as an appropriate avenue for expression.

"I also believe that the courthouse and its grounds are intended to be a place where all people can seek and expect justice, and it is my opinion that a monument which highlights a period in our country of great injustice has no place there. While there are those who would argue removing it is erasing history, I respectfully disagree. Textbooks and classrooms are where History is taught, and moving a monument does not erase the history its represents just as it does not erase the injustice it represents. Moving the monument today does not and cannot change the story of the past, but it can help set the tone in at least some small way, for the narrative of the future.”

Supervisor Kristen Umstattd (D-Leesburg) -- Supports moving the Confederate statue


“I think it’s important to acknowledge that we don’t believe anymore in what the Confederacy stood for and a third of our residents didn’t believe in it then either. Those who believed in the mission of the Confederacy have had 100 percent of the say on the courthouse lawn, and it’s time to change that.”

Supervisor Tony Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) -- Won’t say

“I’m far from prepared to speak on [the removal of the Confederate statue] until I get more information, so that will be coming before the board and at that time I'll speak on it.”

Supervisor Ron Meyer (R-Broad Run) -- Supports moving the Confederate statue

“As a conservative, I stand for the liberty of all Americans -- no one can argue that is what the Confederacy stood for. Indeed, that's exactly what they feared and what they fought against. For many Americans, these statues are a reminder that parts of our nation celebrated and continues to honor those who sought to keep them enslaved forever. Remembering the good and the evil in our history is important, but that doesn't mean we need to honor or celebrate evil in our public squares. History can be properly remembered in history books, in museums, and at sites where the history happened and where it can be put in proper context.

“Instead of destroying the Leesburg statue and the gross history attached to it, our statute should be moved a couple miles away to the Ball's Bluff Battlefield. There, at a Civil War battlefield, it can educate and serve as a memorial for families who seek to remember their ancestors as American veterans”

Supervisor Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) -- Supports keeping the statue in its current location and adding an additional marker and context to the memorial

"Loudoun is not Charlottesville. There is no place in Loudoun for the activities that occurred in Charlottesville. Loudoun County was a dynamic, ever-changing landscape in the Civil War. Brother fought against brother in Loudoun County. We were Union, Confederate, Black, White, slave, free, male and female. Denying, or sanitizing our history in Loudoun is extremely unwise and shortsighted. Our history is our strength not our weakness. It is incumbent on all of us to tell Loudoun’s entire history. How can we learn from our history if we hide it?

"In 2015 the Board of Supervisors voted to give $50,000 to support a slave memorial on the courthouse grounds that has yet to be proposed or built. This is important because in 1860, 5,501 slaves lived in Loudoun County, 25% of Loudoun's 21,744 population. This is an important part of Loudoun’s history that must be memorialized.

"The confederate soldier statute should not stand alone on the courthouse grounds. In my view, it is only right that it should be joined by a memorial to Loudoun’s slaves and a memorial to its Union soldiers. In 2015, we were talking about telling Loudoun's whole story. This is the correct approach.”

Vice Chairman Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) and Supervisor Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian) did not respond to calls and emails from the Times-Mirror.

State Delegates:

Del. Randy Minchew (R-10th) -- Won’t say

“I'm not going to give you a yes or no right now … that’s soundbite that you want. You want to get Republicans saying yes, and Democrats saying no, so you create this polarization. I’m going against polarization, I’m suggesting there be a rational process.

"I commend the Loudoun Board of Supervisors for the respectful and contemplative way in which it is responding to the debate concerning the Loudoun war memorial over at the old courthouse. This is not a time for knee-jerk reactions or hostile arguments and the board is setting a good tone as it gets ready to come off its August break."

Del. Dave LaRock (R-33rd) --- Not in support of moving the Confederate statue

“Virginia has a long and fascinating role at the forefront of American history, with many great leaders, including some with views and actions many consider wrong. All of us have parts of our lives where we failed, along with areas of success, and this is true of historical figures as well. In order to avoid repeating mistakes of the past, we should not attempt to hide or erase history, but study unbiased and accurate historical accounts, being careful to not misrepresent past victories or mistakes.

"The current law on protection of war memorials dates back to 1950, when Democrats completely dominated Virginia government. This law was last updated in 2010 with unanimous bipartisan support, including yea votes from AG Mark Herring and LG Ralph Northam. Last year's effort to clarify the law received support from all Republicans and half of the Democrats in the House of Delegates. Now, in light of current controversy, many of the Democrats are conveniently flipping their positions for purely political purposes. I do not support removing existing lawful protections of memorials and monuments.”

Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-34th) -- Supports giving localities the choice, but won't say whether she would like to see the statue kept in its place or removed

"I would support Chairwoman Randall's request that localities be given a voice in making these kinds of decisions."

Del. John Bell (D-87th) -- Supports moving the Confederate statue

“Things that are unacceptable racially today should be in museums We shouldn’t forget that part of our history, but we shouldn’t put it on a pedestal and celebrate it the way many of them are done today.”

Del. Jennifer Boysko (D-86th) -- Thinks issue should be left to localities to decide and won't say whether she believes the Leesburg statue should be removed or relocated

“I feel like it’s a very complex issue ...I think it’s less about a statue than it is about groups coming, spreading their hate and if basically in light of what we just saw happening [in Charlottesville], I think that localities should have the authority to contextualize and remove [Confederate statues] if they deem appropriate. But I think what’s more concerning to me in this whole situation, is that we had people who came and used those inanimate statues as a message to try to incite hate and fear in people.”

Del. James LeMunyon (R-67th) -- Won't say

"It's likely that this issue, specifically the provisions of 18.2-1832.1 of the Code of Virginia, will be considered by the General Assembly during the 2018 session beginning in January. I see my role as facilitating a respectful public discussion on this issue between now and then, particularly since Virginia law addresses war memorials more generally than the specific case of Leesburg. Also, some people have suggested consideration of changing public references to the Civil War more broadly than the display of statues. I have not had the opportunity to discuss the matter personally with Chairman Randall, but I look forward to doing so."

Del. Tag Greason (R-33rd) did not respond.

State Senators:

State Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-33rd) -- Supports moving the Confederate statue

“I think that the statute should be removed … there were no Civil War battles fought on the steps of the courthouse. The courthouse is a place where people are supposed to be able to find refuge and justice and equality under the law, and for a lot of members of our community, coming into the court complex to see [the Confederate statue], they feel anything but those ideals, and that to me is a problem.”

State Sen. Dick Black (R-13th) -- Declined to answer

“I don’t have any comment, I may put out something and you’re welcome to view that.”

State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st) -- Will support legislation giving localities more authority to remove Confederate statues from public spaces but won't say whether she believes the Leesburg statue should be removed or relocated

"My role as a state legislator is to facilitate the conversation localities are engaging in across the Commonwealth about the appropriateness of publicly displaying statutes honoring confederate leaders. Local governments need the authority to respond to the current day values and cultures in their communities. To that end, I will be sponsoring legislation in January that will grant local governments unequivocal authority to remove Confederate statutes from public spaces or to otherwise determine where and how such symbols shall be displayed. As always, I will work with County leaders to ensure that any legislative proposal accurately addresses the concerns of localities and has as much 'buy-in' as possible from my Richmond colleagues. I truly hope that this issue can garner sufficient support from across the aisle. However, lawmakers in the past have been reluctant to enable behavior that they might consider to be 'too progressive.' Let's hope that the national attention this topic has been receiving over the past few weeks has changed some minds."

State Sen. Jill Vogel (R-27th) -- Supports keeping the statue in its current location

"I believe we should teach history not erase it. I do not support changing the law to allow removal of Virginia historic monuments. I have worked for years with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fight for money for historic preservation and to now spend millions of taxpayer dollars to undo that work is appalling, especially when there is so much more left to protect. Many in our community worked closely with Congressman Frank Wolf to protect the Journey Through Hallowed Ground and I will continue to fight to protect our battlefields, our cemeteries and our monuments."

Leesburg Town Council

Mayor Kelly Burk -- Won't say

"While the issue of removing or keeping the confederate statue on the courthouse grounds is a decision for the General Assembly and the county, it is clear to me that there is an important conversation people are having around the Commonwealth, and the nation, about this topic. Whether we like it or not, the statue is park of the history of our country, nothing can change that."

Leesburg Vice Mayor Suzanne Fox -- Won't say

"May I ask you why the Times Mirror feels it necessary to report where local politicians stand on the statue issue? From what I have witnessed, this is a very divisive issue, and most local politicians have very little (if any) influence over the situation. If called upon to offer feedback on specific legislation, I will opine then. One thing I will say is that I will only be part of the solution, and not part of the problem."

Leesburg Town Council Member Thomas S. Dunn -- Does Not support moving the Confederate statue in Leesburg
“No I don’t support moving it … I don't see where if people are offended by the statue moving it from one public location to another public location would reduce that offense that they feel. Additionally, we can’t go around removing anything that individuals feel or claim is offensive to them because you do that and you eventually will have no identity with anything other than the state or whatever entity survives will be the only identity there is. So no, I don’t think that removing it is going to solve any real problems that are out there especially in the minority community that seems to be so upset.

"They also don’t seem to be able to stand for the American flag at football games, so you know, what's next? What’s the next symbol that they’ll use as a symbol of oppression? The United States flag flew over the times of slavery, the pilgrims made slaves out of the Native Americans … Where do we end again at the offenses that people want to take on? When do people start saying that they’re offended by anyone who has more money than they do? What do we do with those people?

"If folks want to have a legitimate discussion that isn't already designed with a preconceived conclusion which is: ‘I win,’ then we need to have that. But to rush out now after something that’s been there for 100 and something years, claim that it all of a sudden now is so offensive that we just can’t handle it, I wonder where their concerns were 40 years ago, 20 years ago?

"It just seems like we are entering into a phase that really only has a natural conclusion and that would be anything that offends anybody at anytime must be removed or destroyed must mean that all things can be removed and destroyed whether the offense is true or not."

Leesburg Town Council Member Ron Campbell -- Supports removing the Confederate statue in Leesburg

“The defense of this statute as a historical relic is not defensible for as long as it is celebrated it continues to perpetuate the historical fact and actual impact of slavery, treason, lynching and racism upon the lives of all Americans and especially disproportionately African Americans. Context matters and symbols matter.

I hope that in the near future we as a community can come together to tell our truths in a peaceful way and gather some new ideas to honor all who served and died to protect the Union.

So, yes my position is that the statue should come down. I know it will take significant conversation and cooperation. I also understand that we have problems in our community and country that will not be solved because a statute comes down but we must make efforts to move forward and cannot ignore the representations of hate and treason.

I do believe that our Town Council is divided on this issue and will find it difficult to have the conversation and probably not agree on any resolution to support taking the statue down. I have talked with a few of my colleagues and while we don't have the same position, we do have the same interest in having all of history represented and all who live in our community respected. There has been no organized effort to get members of Town Council to weigh in on this subject as of today.

The fact that rallies will or won't happen, will or won't be supported or approved is not leadership, it is just reactionary. Our political parties have ignored or used significant issues regarding race for far too long and the simmering hate and divisions can no longer be used for political purposes."

Leesburg Town Council Member Fernando "Marty" Martinez -- Supports moving Confederate statue

”I disagree with the symbolism that’s the statues and flags, and the symbolism that it all brings and I think it’s better served somewhere else.”

Leesburg Town Council Member Ken Reid -- Avoids the question altogether

"In 2015, when I was Leesburg District supervisor, then Chairman York succeeded in getting the Board to approve $50,000 in tax dollars to match whatever the NAACP or private group could raise to build a memorial to black slaves in Loudoun on the Old Courthouse lawn. There was precedence for this as our Board also gave $50,000 to plug a funding gap for the Revolutionary War veteran statue on the Courthouse lawn, which was dedicated that fall (2015)."

"I voted for the slave memorial, but not the funding as the $50,000 might not have covered the true cost. As far as I know, the current Board has not changed tune on that, so the money is still available for that purpose. Perhaps you can inquire with Phillip Thompson on whether he, NAACP or another entity is pursuing fundraising and design for a slave memorial on the Old Courthouse Grounds, or if they have abandoned it in favor of having the Confederate monument removed. I don't know."

Town Council Member Hugh Forsythe -- Won't say

“I think a majority of people could care less about [the statue]. I think the small minority are going to make a big stink and [the question of relocating or moving the statue] is no right or wrong answer. Both sides are going to raise Cain. I think it’s foolish for us to have to have police members down there to watch it, I think that’s an overrun. Right now, I’m not going to voice which way I think, I’d like to talk to my other council members to get a decision, I know what I feel about it. I think the small minority are making things up that they shouldn’t."

***

Sophie Desmond contributed to this report.

Comments


RJ
It is not a Town issue.  The Court House grounds are county property.  The County is limited by Commonwealth of VA law.  As you ponder weak and weary through the Court House grounds, not the Town Center, you read the names of lost souls.  Well RJ you are reading the names of a segregated military until 1948.  So you need to consider the evil that you feel from one statue and remember the same county was in all those wars prior to Korea.  And then walk around to the other side of the Court House as you pass the flag that flew over slavery, jim crow, the KKK, and civil rights; there you will find the Rev War statue that glorifies noting for the black race.


As a resident of Leesburg, I must agree with the Loudoun Times Mirror editorial on the hesitancy of town leadership to state a position on the Confederate Soldier monument.  I visit the town center on my walks 3 or 4 times a week.  With the exception of the Confederate Soldier the monuments in the town center have two things in common.  In each case they represent 1) the best of our country,  2) uniting against oppression, hate and evil. They are a testimonial to our nation’s greatness. The Soldier, however represents the tearing apart of our country to preserve the right of one person to enslave another.  History tells us that as a part of that enslavement, one class of people could own, demean, beat, maim, rape and murder another with impunity.  The sole reason for this division, and hatred, was the color of a person’s skin.
As I visit our town center I often stop to read the names of Loudoun’s lost souls who fought to establish, and defend the freedom of us all. As our Founders proclaimed, we are all created equal. Conversely, the mission of the Soldier represents the opposite; that is to demean the value of one to the benefit of another. The Soldier belongs in a museum of history, not a place of honor among our other memorials.  In that context, the slavery the Civil War intended to defend also needs to be recognized as the stain on our nation’s greatness that it represents.
This is not a Democrat versus Republican issue. The heart of the issue the Times Mirror article addresses the failure of our leadership to take a position on this issue.  Harry Truman once said that knowing the right thing to do isn’t hard.  Doing that which we know is right, is the hard part. The issue here is neither nuanced, complicated nor incendiary.  It simply is; once one chooses to seek and accept a position of leadership, that decision brings with it the responsibility to take decisive action, and lead.  To do otherwise, my kids would say, is a cop out. We have the right to expect and demand decisive leadership from our elected representatives.  Otherwise, perhaps next time, we need to elect new leadership that we can count on to decisively “lead.”


I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve noticed the times I’ve been around the court house, that every single black person that walked by would cross the street cowering.  This evil statue has to go.


Laugh and Nonsence
Yep just as I thought you have nothing but your own prejudgment and no facts to back up your claims.  While you may like mob rule most people do not.  I ask you to prove the monument was placed to intimidate blacks.  You keep going back to the timing corresponds to other events.  There were all kinds of events.  Are these events also Jim Crow related?  Based on your telling of fact-less history yes.  But I think not.
electric Christmas lights for the first time
Labor Day established
Statue of Liberty completed
Brooklyn Bridge Built
Red Cross Incorporated
Yosemite became a National Park
The Wounded Knee Massacre
Modern Olympics
Spanish American War, etc etc etc etc
You are insulting the intelligence of the black race by stating as fact they would be intimidated.  If they were so intimidated then there should be some proof in writing from people during this time of GREAT INTIMIDATION.  It is not true because of conclusions by you or assumptions not facts of a historian who say “I think”.

No body will deny that slavery is bad.  But should you want to remove all reminders of this counties failings, in this case slavery, then your list is much longer then a flag and a monument.  Why stop at the injustice of slavery?


My gosh, GoodOleLoudoun, seems you don’t do nuance.  Demagogues like Trump count on that amongst their supporters so you fit right in with that minority group at least.

The Confederate Monument of Leesburg was unveiled on 28 May 1908.  The Loudoun Chapter of the Daughters of the
Confederacy funded the project and hired sculptor Frederick William Sievers
(1872-1966) to design the statue. 

During the period 1880-1910, the UDC was one of many groups that celebrated Lost Cause mythology and presented “a romanticized view of the slavery era” in the United States.

Historian James M. McPherson has said that the present-day UDC promotes a white supremacist and neo-Confederate agenda.  Adding “I think I agree a hundred percent with Ed Sebesta, though, about the motives or the hidden agenda not too deeply hidden I think of such groups as the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. They are dedicated to celebrating the Confederacy and rather thinly veiled support for white supremacy. And I think that also is the again not very deeply hidden agenda of the Confederate flag issue in several Southern states. “

So, if you thought even 10% of the motivation behind that statue was to celebrate the “Lost Cause” of the CSA, wouldn’t you agree that maybe a 21st century courthouse isn’t the proper venue?

Move the thing. 

 


It appears to be the end of rationality, when those who want to support monuments placed to intimidate African Americans ignore “facts” and will further their cause of racial intimidation by claiming, “I don’t know what they are talking about?”  For the good of Leesburg, and the County of Loudoun, it is clearly time to not only remove the statue at the courthouse, but accept that there is no place for it, anywhere in Loudoun County, and melt it down for scrape.


Laugh
sorry you are confused about primary sources.  You quote a News Paper article that is editorializing.  Show facts.  Show where the groups placing the monument did so as an effort to intimidate others and demonstrate white supremacy. Of the 1000’s of monuments placed in both North and South there must be some primary source material that can support your claim.  Supremacist, from what little I have seen, seem to be very vocal and are not ashamed to hide their views.  And if some group wants to intimidate it seems strange they would leave it to the observer to guess the intentions.  I also think it is a huge insult to the black community to claim they would not seek justice because of a monument.  If this is true then there should be source material from those who were thus intimidated.  Oh and I am sure you have heard of that small little historical period right after the Civil War called Reconstruction.  Don’t think many counties were able to put up monuments during those years.
Lastly, Ms Laugh there should even be period News Papers with stories from around the County stating in some cases with pride or shame or disgust the reasons for 1000’s of monuments being place.  But these too should have primary sources to back their position.


GoodOleLoudoun’s challenges to “prove” statements about the statue and the Jim Crow era are duly noted.  I already have, but in case you missed it, here it is again, from the Washington Post.  Obviously, it needs repeating since, like those who claim that some may repeat history, some still deny history:

But what do we learn from the history of these monuments? Are they truly innocuous symbols of Confederate heritage, as their defenders argue? The facts tell us otherwise.

Almost none of the monuments were put up right after the Civil War. Some were erected during the civil rights era of the early 1960s, which coincided with the war’s centennial, but the vast majority of monuments date to between 1895 and World War I. They were part of a campaign to paint the Southern cause in the Civil War as just and slavery as a benevolent institution, and their installation came against a backdrop of Jim Crow violence and oppression of African Americans. The monuments were put up as explicit symbols of white supremacy.


Laugh, you need to prove your statement. Show written proof from the period and not some rewrite of history when you wrote ” That statue was put up, during the Jim Crow era, not to honor history, or heritage, but to intimidate African Americans, who had begun to see beneficial changes in the laws, and attitudes in the United States.  The statue was put up to intimidate, and nothing more.”


Leaked memo: Delays, poor communication and a vacation hampered planning for Charlottesville rally

(Via RTD)


What a JOKE!!!  This is ridiculous.  1st it is RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA. Now it is Statues and Monuments.  THE DEMOCRATS have nothing going for them..AGAIN. If you pay close attention on how this goes:  DIMMS say: White privilege bigots promoting this divide.  They don’t want history taught.  They don’t want the African American to know that the Dimms where slave holders and still today have done NOTING TO free the Black communities from poverty.  The Confederate Army was lead by Dimms and the inter city issues today are due to DIMM LEADERSHIP. Just as it is today…the Dimms of today just follow anything like a herd of cattle.  They can not think or maybe don’t really know the history of Virginia. As a Virginian I say leave the status and monuments.  Give every Democrat family a History book.  Educate them so they don’t look so cowish.  Help them think for themselves.

 


Wow.  It would appear that Delegate Minchew actually responded to my comments.  However, it must be pointed out that, for Delegate Minchew, his reading of the statute in question, is pretty meaningless, since he is not a judge who will decide such a claim.  And it is clear that there is much in dispute here.  I will, actually, take the word of a law professor, over a delegate to Richmond who may, or may not, be trying to hide from the problem in hopes that he is not forced to actually vote to make the whole thing clear.  This whole matter should be easy.  If a law is in the way, change the law.  That statue was put up, during the Jim Crow era, not to honor history, or heritage, but to intimidate African Americans, who had begun to see beneficial changes in the laws, and attitudes in the United States.  The statue was put up to intimidate, and nothing more.  So, Delegate Minchew, rather than responding to me, join in the effort to change the law, so it is crystal clear.


Comstock has a opinion about statues but will not come out as pro bridge or anti-bridge this is a 11 billion dollar project that will bulldoze homes in Loudoun, c’mon man!


I agree with leaving the statue and adding a context marker; one that clarifies the human toll the United States went through, including men and women in the Confederacy, to remove the horrible stain of slavery on our country.


All of these responses from local leaders is meaningless. The General Assembly in Richmond holds all the cards and only their opinions matter.


“Why should I even care about your history since my family arrived long after your war and became citizens in the United States?”

Now that you are a citizen US history is your history. If you feel otherwise nothing is stopping you from renouncing your citizenship. There are plenty of people (including my immigrant husband) who feel it is a privilege to be a US citizen and many others who would give anything to have a chance to become a citizen.


“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every STATUE and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”—George Orwell, “1984”

Orwell got it right. Big brother is here in the form of the Democrat party. They want to rewrite history, control our thoughts and speech, disarm us, basically turn us into the eunuchs in Europe. And if you disagree, your a nazi fascist hate monger! Holy s**t, how did we allow ourselves to get to this point???


Dear Mr./Ms. Laugh, I appreciate your words, but I thought you deserve to hear from me personally in this public forum. You may or may not not me personally, but I am a “Rule of Law” attorney. That means I read and construe the law as honestly as I can with reliance upon existing case law, legislative history, and established rules of statutory construction. Many times, this process gives me the answer I don’t want. In this instance, my reading of the law is that Va. Code Section 15.2-1812 is not given retroactive application to war memorials erected before July 1, 1998. Now, we will get some additional guidance on this statutory construction point soon. There is an active case going on now in the City of Charlottesville right now on in the case of Payne v. City of Charlottesville (CL 17-145) whereby this point will be adjudicated. Moreover, the Norfolk City Council has asked Attorney General Herring for his official opinion on this precise issue. There is no real question on whether or not the memorial on our Courthouse Green is a “war memorial”; the question is whether Va. Code 15.2-1812 has retroactive application so as to afford it statutory protection.
In interpreting statutes, I have to call them as I see them. If the courts, either the Circuit Court of Charlottesville or the Virginia Supreme Court, reach a conclusion different than mine, that’s fine.


I wish TLM would have followed up with the additional question of “If you think it should be moved, or an additional description plaque added, how should that be paid for?”  I would love to hear where the money would come from, perhaps the school budget, transportation budget, fire and safety? 

Again I don’t care if it stays or goes, just don’t use public funds for it.  Maryland spent an estimated $80,000.00 to move ONE (1) statute.


So the LTM is very cleverly naming names so the Left knows where to show up and shout down and “shame” their opposition. I guess the LTM is now officially a tool of the leftist agenda.


I see that Ron Meyer is auditioning for a RINO commentator role on MSNBC with these comments: “we need to honor or celebrate evil”.  You see, only someone who never thought about volunteering to defend his home could even conjure such a distorted view of that statue.

The Japanese honor their war dead who made so many sacrifices even though they acknowledge they were not on the “correct” side of that war.  The statue doesn’t glorify slavery, it celebrates those that were willing to defend their homes and states against an invading army.

Prior to the 1860’s, there was no federal income tax, or standing federal armies, and even the Bill of Rights only protected folks from the federal gov’t, not the power of the states.  Individuals thought of themselves as Virginians rather than Americans.  To expect the common man to disown his state or be labeled as “evil” by Ron Meyer shows unbelievable ignorance. 

In 1860, 77% of the cotton used in Great Britain came from the South.  2/3 of the world’s cotton supply was from the South.  The US generated 90% of its revenues via protective tariffs on imported goods such as cotton textiles and other manufactured goods.  The Southerners were effectively paying these tariffs directly to the North.  The North was exploiting the South to subsidize its own industrialization.  It was stealing from the South and everybody knew it.  The London Times even editorialized in 1861 that “Protection was quite as much a cause of the disruption of the Union as Slavery”.  Even British abolitionist Richard Cobden stated the British see “on one side protectionists, on the other slave-owners. The protectionists say they do not seek to put down slavery. The slave-owners say they want Free Trade.”

In an article by David Moratta, he sums up the cause of the war:

“The Tariff of 1828, called the Tariff of Abominations in the South, was the worst exploitation. It passed Congress 105 to 94 but lost among Southern congressmen 50 to 3. The South argued that favoring some industries over others was unconstitutional.

The South Carolina Exposition and Protest written by Vice President John Calhoun warned that if the tariff of 1828 was not repealed, South Carolina would secede. It cited Jefferson and Madison for the precedent that a state had the right to reject or nullify federal law.

In an 1832 state legislature campaign speech, Lincoln defined his position, saying, ‘My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance. I am in favor of a national bank . . . in favor of the internal improvements system and a high protective tariff.’ He was firmly against free trade and in favor of using the power of the federal government to benefit specific industries like Lincoln’s favorite, Pennsylvania steel.”

So maybe Ron Meyer does favor Lincoln’s politics of a “national bank” and high protective tariffs.  Or maybe Meyer is a know-nothing who would literally say and do anything to curry political votes.


It’d be so much clearer if Mr. Dunn would just say “black people” instead of “they”.

Also curious to know if Mr. LaRock is speaking specifically about fighting a war in defense of slavery when he says “some with views and actions MANY consider wrong”. Thought we were all pretty much on the same page with that one.


Must change all offending street names, rename all books, sand blast all presidents off Mt. Rushmore, forcibly remove all memorials and statues in DC and all counties and cities and rename ANYTHING that offends. Next up churches, synagogues, mosques and minarets can be removed “for the greater good”.

The 26th amendment and 11th commandment: thou shalt not be offended. Only the present fed.gov shall rule you.

Now back to your bread and circuses. We have a country to spend into oblivion and run in to the ground, so please keep your eye on these shiny objects.


Are those the only questions? Move , leave or take down? How about adding a union soldier statue facing the Confederate one and establishing a Civil War education center in the to be expanded courthouse?
Bob O__ Esq.


LTM CONTINUING to fan the flames. CONTINUING to try and divide Loudoun.

@froggen your opinion is moot regarding a memorial dedicated to men who died (my ancestors) for their country since you admitted you have no dog in the fight. LEAVE OUR HISTORY ALONE.


The Gubernatorial election will be held in November.  Why not put a referendum on the ballot to the effect: Yes, move the statue; No, keep it in place.  Let the county residents decide this sensitive issue directly.  Who knows, the referendum might even encourage more people to come out and vote.


To those who seem to be in love and worship a statue of metal and concrete that no longer has significance in 2017, your history and heritage is not mine. Why should I even care about your history since my family arrived long after your war and became citizens in the United States?? Do you hope to send us back to where we came from?


Sen Wexton has no clue. There are cannon ball marks from Union guns on the buildings at the Court complex.

The Dems keep using the same word to craft the narrative.  They say the monument is “celebrated”  which is false.  What party has been thrown anywhere near the Leesburg monument? NONE ZERO. 

The “Removement” makes claims to want symbols removed and or destroyed.  Then when anyone says let’s not do that or can we talk, they are branded a racist who is “celebrating” around a monument created to the ideas of racism and slavery and hate.


Leave it to our local paper to continue to stir the pot.
Can’t we all just get along…..  Thanks LTM!


I do not believe ANY historical statue should be removed. The left is pushing this divisiveness as phase one of their agenda. The next phase, once they get the statues out of an ‘extremely public place of viewing’ is to then change the history of said ‘disliked’ statue to read how the left wants it to read, and that includes changing the history books the kids read and are taught from in our schools. JUST STOP THIS MADNESS!! It is akin to genocide of our history, and history is NOT always ‘nice and clean’ in its reasons nor its outcome to suit everyone’s taste and decorum, BUT IT IS STILL OUR HISTORY. Sweeping slavery and other ‘makes me uncomfortable’ historical events and such does not do anything to preserve those ugly parts that we learn from in what to do or not to do again in the future. I cannot believe people cannot see this practice of the left and make a call to cease and desist this desire to ‘change’ history to make ‘everyone feel better’. It is what it is - it is HISTORY! Leave it alone and learn from it!


On September 17, 1862 the Courthouse grounds in Leesburg were crowded with Confederate sick and wounded. As they rested there, Union forces under Lt. Col. Hugh Kilpatrick began an artillery bombardment into the center of Leesburg. A cavalry counterattack by Confederate Major Elijah White succeeded in ending the incoming artillery fire.

Soldiers, from those who died in battle from the Revolution to the War on Terror, are memorialized on granite monuments on the courthouse grounds, which for most counties in America is a place for remembrance.

Not only is it right to maintain ALL the memorials on the Courthouse grounds, considering that those grounds were the actual site of warfare, the Confederate memorial should stay right where it is.

And a tip of the hat to Supervisor Geary Higgins, who had the most thoughtful and accurate opinion of the public officials.


I get tired of hearing about “what the Confederacy Stood For”, and it’s “Symbolism”…
This is one of the few times I agree with Comstock. Educate!!! Define what the statue represents for Loudoun County. Own the history of this county to remember the past to better the future! But first, how about really learning what the civil war was about. Slavery was NOT the main driving force. Bottom line, keep the statue where it is, and put a plaque with it explaining what it means to the county, and grow from it instead of driving a bigger stake between people of this county and country!


I respect everyone of these folks that gave their opinion. That is what they were asked for, their opinion at this time with what they know.
As for those that would not answer or would not state their opinion, PURE POLTICIAN worried about getting votes next election. 
If they will not tell the PEOPLE what their opinions are, they should never be elected.


Interesting.  Finally can agree with Congresswoman Barbara Comstock on something.

At first read, I thought Supervisor Tony Buffington was weak. But then I read Del. Randy Minchew’s quote – and agree that the Democrats and media are pushing this issue (and much more) to be divisive.  Period. 

They look at the results of that last election and think all they need to do is move 50K more votes out.  What they are missing is they are breaking up the country – and pushing more voters away from them than they are gaining.

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