World War I memorial | Plaque 1

Loudoun County’s World War I monument on the county courthouse grounds in Leesburg.

The bronze plaque on the Loudoun County World War I Memorial has stood in the heart of Leesburg for nearly 100 years. Located on the county courthouse grounds, the plaque lists the names of the 30 service members from Loudoun who died during war. Segregated by two engraved lines, on top are the names of 27 white service members; below are three Black men who equally gave their lives for America.

The dividing line may soon be gone.

Loudoun County Supervisor Mike Turner (D-Ashburn) said he plans to propose a new plaque that would alphabetize the names. Turner is aiming to offer a motion to the board in September after the supervisors’ August break. If approved, the Ashburn supervisor hopes a re-dedication ceremony can be held in 2022, the 100th anniversary of the memorial’s installation.

“I knew I wanted it changed, it couldn’t stay the way it was,” Turner, a retired Air Force colonel, said. “I never wanted the memorial removed — that was never my intent. It was always to replace the engraving in a way that reflects the sacrifice of the men who are listed on the plaque and also in a way that reflects justice in America.”

Loudoun County and other localities across Virginia were given the authority by state lawmakers to “remove, relocate or contextualize” war memorials in this year’s General Assembly session. The law went into effect in July.

The controversial Confederate monument in Leesburg, which stood on the courthouse grounds since 1908, was removed last month. The statue was claimed by its owner, the Loudoun Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, after the Board of Supervisors signaled its intent to remove the monument.

The separating line on the World War I monument hits home for Marilyn Thornton, a Washington, D.C.-based author and the granddaughter of war veteran James Edgar Thornton, about whom she wrote a book. Marilyn Thornton is a relative of one of the Black Loudoun County deceased, Samuel C. Thornton. She supports replacing the plaque.

“Can’t you just see people sitting around in a meeting saying, ‘Oh, let’s put the white boys at the top?’” she said in an interview with the Times-Mirror. “It’s just incredible to me that anybody would think to do that.”

Thornton said she saw the plaque for the first time when researching her 2016 book, “Letters From Edgar’s Trunk,” based on accounts from her grandfather in the 369th Infantry Regiment during World War I. The group was commonly known as the Harlem Hellfighters. The author dedicated the book to the Black soldiers listed on the plaque — Ernest Gilbert, Valentine B. Johnson and Samuel C. Thornton.

Thornton said she could not believe the plaque when she first saw it. She called it “ridiculous,” but said she was not surprised. She recalled meeting Supervisor Turner at an event, and she shared her issues with the monument.

World War I memorial | Memorial 1

The World War I memorial on the Loudoun County Courthouse lawn.

Due to the casualties sustained by the French Army in the first World War, many Black U.S. soldiers were sent to France, according to Thornton’s research. She reasoned Black soldiers were sent to help the French Army in part because the American Army didn’t want them, and Black service members often sought the opportunity to prove their worth for equal treatment in the U.S., according to historians. But racial tension increased when Black soldiers returned home, with anti-Black riots and attacks on Black veterans. The military was eventually desegregated in 1948.

The local “Great War” memorial was built in 1922 and dedicated on July 8, 1922, to honor the 30 fallen soldiers, Marines and sailors. Thirteen of them died of influenza or complications of the disease.

The bronze plaque reads “Our Glorious Dead” along with a scripture from the King James Version of the Bible Ecclesiasticus 44:14: “Their bodies are buried in peace, but their name liveth for evermore.”

The memorial is surrounded by others dedicated to the Revolutionary War, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Not everyone is in favor of altering the World War I monument, however. Richard Gillespie, a respected local historian and educator, urges against alphabetizing the name.

“It is hard to find things that so blatantly show segregation and the impact of Jim Crow,” Gillespie said. “It’s a way for us to point out to people what happened, and I hope that we don’t have to point out to people that we no longer believe in that. But I hope we don’t change it, because it needs to still be there to remind us.”

He added, “The honor of these African Americans having served — and in a time of intense prejudice and discrimination against them — is clearly denoted in this 99-year-old memorial. Changing this sign most clearly would be changing — erasing — history.”

World War I memorial | Plaque up close

A closer look at the World War I monument on the Loudoun County Courthouse grounds shows the names of Black fallen service members divided from white service members.

In January, the Board of Supervisors adopted the county Heritage Commission’s recommendations on making the courthouse grounds a better reflection of the county’s history. The recommendations include reserving space for a future interpretive “Path Toward Freedom,” possibly designing and installing additional memorials and facilitating community discussions about the future of the courthouse grounds.

Michelle Thomas, president of the NAACP Loudoun Branch, opposes keeping the World War I plaque as is. She stands against any “vestiges of hate and discrimination.”

“If the memorial’s purpose is to honor those who gave their lives, why would we include something that was dishonorable?” Thomas said. “That dividing line was dishonorable.”

Supervisor Turner has garnered support for his initiative from the veterans community, including the Loudoun County VFW Post 1177, the American Legion Post 34 and Loudoun County Foreign War Memorial Trust Fund Advisory Committee.

Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Ceremonial Installation | Mike Turner

Pictured is Supervisor Mike Turner (D-Ashburn) being sworn in as one of the newest members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in January 2020. 

Funds for a replacement plaque could come from veterans groups and be collected by the county into the War Memorial Trust Fund launched in 1986, according to county staff. As of July 31, the balance was more than $23,000.

Phil Rusciolelli, a member of the Loudoun County Foreign War Memorial Trust Fund Advisory Committee, supports altering the plaque. He noted one of the committee’s latest projects was installing lights on the war memorials, a way to enhance remembrance of the fallen service members.

“If you go past the memorials at night, the granite memorials light up. They reflect what our country is about — dedication of service people that have gone on and given everything for our freedoms that we have today,” Rusciolelli said. “And I think that in and of itself says why we need to fix that plaque, because it symbolizes freedom, so we need to ensure that it reflects freedom.”

Turner said the American Legion and VFW posts were unanimous in their support, reflecting their commitment to the meaning of America, “true patriotism” and serving the country in a fair and equitable way.

“We did this together as a group and as rational adults who saw an inequity and wanted it fixed,” Turner said. “This is a Republican, Democratic, Independent issue that we all agree needs to change, and so we were pleased with that outcome and the way we handled it.”

World War I memorial | July 8, 1922

A crowd gathers on the Loudoun County Courthouse lawn at the dedication of the World War I memorial on July 8, 1922.

World War I | Black Veterans

Some of Loudoun’s Black veterans at the county courthouse in 1922, the year the county’s World War I monument was dedicated.

World War I | White Veterans

Loudoun's first batch of draftees for World War I in front of the county courthouse.

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(158) comments

DOOZIE

i have the picture of the Black Soldiers that was reprinted several years ago in "Out of the Attic". Im proud to say my Papa is the second from the left on the front row (Towney Ferrell of Waterford) and his brother (George Ferrell) is standing next to him.

Djfmer

Why aren't Hispanic and asian veterans identified as such? Probably because the last name is an identifier. The names on the plaque for the black Veterans weren't identifable to a black person in 1922 as names are today. Think about it.

More Cowbell

It's a apparent Mike Turner has nothing to do as BOS. There are many other higher priority issues, COVID, getting kids back into school, figuring out a lower tax for all Loudoun citizens and businesses. Mike has quickly become one of those corrupt short time politicians. he clearly doesn't have best interest of his constituents.

amerigirl

Do you think the BOS or even Turner only works on one thing at a time? I doubt he has much control over Covid, the school situation is worked out until the next evaluation,they approved a $3 billion budget for next year that reduced the Virginia county's tax rate by a penny last April and are putting all capital projects that have to be financed on hold. Fixing the plaque is no big deal as far as what the BOS is doing and it is being paid for so what is the problem? If that was one of your relatives listed at the bottom like a lesser human how would you feel? Fixing a wrong doesn't make someone corrupt, so please explain.

More Cowbell

Actually, the BOS does very little to nothing. You and only you would think any name at bottom is lessor human. The sky is falling for you. There was nothing wrong, perhaps we should redo every monument that has war vets names. We should put enlisted above officers... Scary to think you vote and/or could sit on a jury....

amerigirl

Pretty sad that you can't see the injustice, too white? My sky is just fine, but I still think all people enlisted, officers, black or any color are equal when they have sacrificed their lives for their country. Scary that you have such a biased opinion and vote that way. As far as juries, you should not qualify for that exact reason, you are not impartial.

Kowi

im new here

amerigirl

Welcome![smile]

Voltaire

I second AG's warm greeting!

Djfmer

So if the black Veterans are listed in with the White Veterans, how will anyone know who the black Veterans are? Is there going to be an asterisk next to their names? As it is now you can proudly identify the black Veterans. Otherwise you'll have to guess who they are because this isn't going to be addressed in school.

Kowi

great

amerigirl

Soldiers that have died for this country are not honored for being a certain color they are honored for their commitment to the US, it doesn't matter what color they were. Why should it? Did they pull out the Asian or Latino soldiers and list them separately? There men gave their life for this country and should not have their names pulled out and treated as lesser citizens for the color of their skin.

LoudounPulse

For what it's worth, you can see how history was already changing by 1922. The fact that black names had been added to a monument is saying something. A few decades earlier and the acknowledgement of a black person's name to be place on a memorial wouldn't have even been considered.

Raymond LuxuryYacht

It’s been well over 2 weeks since Supervisor Juli Briskman’s inflammatory and bigoted Tweet of July 23rd. I’m still waiting for the LTM to question her about that tweet and determine what she meant. Apparently the LTM isn’t that interested in stories of supervisors making inflammatory comments.

amerigirl

Seriously? Maybe that isn't newsworthy? Why would you wait when all you have to do is call or email her office?

Chris McHale

What did she tweet?

LeesburgFan

I really appreciate the photos with this article. Good job LTM.

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amerigirl

Sorry Mr. Censor, but I have that right, and yeah, I do well!

Charles Houston

I'm descended from a Confederate general but think changing this plaque makes sense. On similar and more monumental issues (pun intended,) think deeply whether you are honoring someone or a people who deserve honor, or are you simply indulging in 21st century political correctness. In this case, we honor all our war dead.

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ABee

Yep, amerigirl has never missed an opportunity to post her drivel .

Most of us have stopped reading her posts.

Don't think less of me, but I counted her posts from just one article and was dumbfounded by the high number of just her posts.

KK153

in other important work...the BOS is hard a work on a resolution that will once and for all finalize the historic truth that a zebra, is in fact, a Black (note the capital B) animal with white (note the lower case w) stripes, and not a white animal with Black stripes.

This is of course a difficult task, so no further race baiting PC resolutions can be worked on until this important piece of work can be finalized.

ace10

If only you were joking...

amerigirl

For you it might be a difficult task, they have already solved the problem, the work just needs to be completed, as it says in the article. Whew, that was exhausting!!!

Loudoun4Trump

And again, the race baiting article is written by Nathaniel Cline....no surprise

debbbie

And again, another stupid comment from Loudoun4Trump.

amerigirl

for sure

mopar19

Agree

mopar19

Agree

Loudoun Observer

It seems he just trolls the county looking for this junk. Next week... Target has a sale and the white dresses are in front of the black dresses - BOS demands reforms now!

amerigirl

Comparing inanimate objects to those who fought and died for our country. That's pretty disgusting.

LoudounClear

Loudoun4Trump is just staying on brand

amerigirl

Maybe the Russian bots got to him, they're at it again.

Voltaire

AG--it could also be the People's Republic of China and Islamic Republic of Iran as they are actively doing the same thing as the Russian Federation.

DarkHelmet 1983

Shouldn't the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors have more important things to be concerned with? This has gotten a bit out of control, please focus on more important matters.

amerigirl

It's called multi-tasking.

KK153

multi- tasking = doing lots of things but none of them well.

jbsets

It is my opinion that men are incapable of multi-tasking

amerigirl

If you can't multi-task and do it well then that is just incompetence. The BOS had always done it and always will, the county never has 12 issue at a time.

Voltaire

Jbsets--That statement is sexist and unfounded. Do you have any evidence to support that claim? No. I am a man and am more than capable of multitasking. Thanks for asking.

InfoOD

Not surprised to see another democrat looking for racism to stir things up and get on the news. Wonder why they allow colleges to ask for a student's race during application.

Topdog1

These people obviously have nothing to do in their life! Spend your time on things that actually help people, instead of spending time and money to change stuff like this from the past. I’m sure there are some people out there who would appreciate some help that these type efforts are diverting from.

Loudoun4Trump

Now we find out (already knew) Joe Biden is a racist and think all blacks think the same and have zero diversity of thought....wow.....hopefully the BOS will start to serve the people instead of the marxist BLM program....I doubt it though....

countyresident

Good point. It’s about time to start bringing gasbag pervert Dem candidate Biden out from the crypt and start examining his perverse commentary. You know all the snowflake dem commenters in here will scream “OFF TOPIC!!” yet not a SINGLE one will address his long racist and putrid political past.

jbsets

I think that you are confused. A certain president is a gasbag, pervert (think allegiance with Epstein and current support of Maxwell, the Access Hollywood tape, saying in interviews more than once that he would have sex with Ivanka if she wasn't his daughter and that's only some of the long list), his constant lies...in the neighborhood of 19,000+ since his inauguration, pretending to be religious when he's never been inside a church other than funerals and maybe a wedding, overt racism including supporting the very fine White Supremacists, mismanagement of the pandemic, ruining America's reputation with the the American's Democratic allies and sucking up to dictators such as the Marxist/Communist Putin, Ji, and Un, and happily doing everything he can to divide the people of this country, among a boatload of other horrible things. People are so divided that I totally expect guns to be whipped out and the shooting to commence on perceived liberals with the support and glee of Trump. I can only people that most of his supporters would never resort to that kind of behavior despite the baiting.

amerigirl

Good reply, and you just got the tip of the iceberg.

Stepup

Jbsets, you do realize you are spouting leftist propaganda pretending to be a scathing reply.

Too much MSNBC will melt your brain. Turn off Maddiow and you may be able to join the real world.

amerigirl

Stepup, just what in JB comment is propaganda? Sounds like you have fallen for the right wing fake news. Are we supposed to be impressed that you know the name of someone on MSNBC? Guess you have been watching too much FOX, the station that defends their lies by saying they are opinions, and photo-shops pics.

Voltaire

Stepup—your premise is flawed. First, it is Rachel Maddow, not “Maddiow”. Second, there is nothing to support the premise that people who watch MSNBC and/or Rachel Maddow are not part of the “real world”. They just have a different perspective on things than others. There is nothing wrong with that. The last time that I checked; I believe that the “real world” allows for people of both persuasions to live and participate in it.

Stepup

jbsets spews unsubstantiated liberal talking points, outright lies and speculation.

MSNBC, and specifically Maddow, spent 4 years peddling Russian collusion lies that have only exposed the corruption of Obama officials and FBI. The nation suffered through a divisive failed impeachment as a result.

Thanks for the spell-check Voltaire. BTW, your use of "that" in your last sentence is superfluous.

MSNBC does unfortunately does exist in the real world. It exists to tell real lies.

Voltaire

Stepup—I see. There are quite a few posters who spew unsubstantiated talking points, both liberal and conservative. Unless you can show that her rhetoric is a violation of the First Amendment, then she can continue to make “unsubstantiated liberal talking points…and speculation.” Do you have any proof to directly show that jbsets has made “outright lies”? That is a pretty strong charge to make without supporting evidence. Concerning MSNBC, you may be correct on that statement. However, CNN and other news outlets also went down that same avenue, so it is not the exclusivity of MSNBC. The evidence in the Special Counsel Report and the Impeachment Managers’ presentation was sufficient to make a credible case that Obstruction of Justice had been committed. However, it was dubious that you would get a conviction in the U.S. Senate. That viewpoint was confirmed. The corruption in the Obama Administration, notably within the FBI, is a valid view. I believe that the Department of Justice is reviewing that matter still. As to Impeachment, it was not a “failed impeachment” as Donald Trump is officially impeached. The effort to convict/remove him from office failed in the U.S. Senate. As to my use of “that”, it is grammatically acceptable. However, your last sentence is wrong. The sentence should read as follows: “…MSNBC does unfortunately exist in the real world. “ The second “does” is not necessary.

Stepup

Voltaire, you are good at this game and I am enjoying it.

My comment on your use of "that" was merely to point out that correcting other's typos is a bit pedantic. Ditto for the redundant " does" in my post.

If jbsets can make unsubstantiated claims, I feel no need to substantiate my counter claims that many are false. I also don't challenge her right to make such claims, only the their content. I also have the right to make unsubstantiated claims , as you have the right to express your opinion on the comments. So let's not drag the first amendment into this.

Point taken on impeachment, though I would contend a failed conviction and failed removal from office is tantamount to a failed impeachment effort.

I agree with you on the broader media's dishonesty. I singled out MSNBC as prominent example of the media's liberal bias and dishonesty.

Have a nice day.

Voltaire

Stepup—You have a fair point about correcting people regarding spelling/syntax/typos. It is a bad habit of mine. I see your perspective and totally agree that you, like me, have every right to directly challenge the veracity of the content of an individual’s claims. From a legal/historical perspective, it is not a failed impeachment. I do agree with you about the effects (divisive country, etc.) that the impeachment process created in its wake. MSNBC, to be honest, is a disgrace to be called a “journalistic” outlet. Their bias is so blatant it is revolting. On the other hand, FOX isn’t that much better. You have a nice day too!

amerigirl

Tell us all JB what are the unsubstantiated liberal talking points you are talking about? Would you like them proven to you or are you happier living the lie?

amerigirl

Stepup you have been listening to too many conspiracy theories. Please say what is unsubstantiated and back it up with facts. Russia did meddle in the election so what are you talking about? What Obama corruption? You can’t back that up either. There was no failed impeachment, trump was impeached.

amerigirl

And you lie about Biden has WHAT to do with this article?

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jbsets

Person

uh

Woman

uh

Man

um

Camera

TV

They were amazed at my memory.

amerigirl

Another L4T post and another lie. Please tell me what conspiracy theory site you got that zero diversity of though mantra from. describe the diversity of political opinion among Latino Americans and was not a judgment on cultural diversity.

Loudoun4Trump

Now I see they aer censoring comments here....Joe Biden...Obama was the FIRST clean and articulate black man....Joe Biden is a segregationist who was against busing since he didnt want to send white kids to the "jungle" ....Joe Biden said a couple days ago that blacks do not have diversity of thought....Joe Biden said if you go to a 7-11 you need to speak with a slight indian accent....Joe Biden was accused of sexual assault by a former employee when he was senator....Joe Biden said if you dont vote for him than you aint black....Joe Biden loved the klansman Robert Byrd....Joe Biden is a racist and not fit for the Persident of the US....I wouldnt let him drive a car let alone be Persident....all TRUE.....wont take LTM to delete these truths as well....stay ignorant amerigirl thats the way the liberals like it.....

amerigirl

L4T, what was censored? What does Biden have to do with these men that lost their lives fighting for this country being treated as lesser humans? You are just looking for any forum to post your hate on. I am not ignorant it was you that spelled wouldn’t, Persident, wont, didnt, thats, dont, aer, aint, and didn’t capitalize Indian. You know what gets your comments censored? It when you bully other commentators and call them names. Maybe if you could clean up your act and grow up and act like a real adult, and treat others as humans that wouldn’t happen.

Voltaire

L4T--your premise is flawed. Robert Byrd was a member of the KKK for approximately one year (1942-1943). He later renounced his membership. Therefore, it is not correct to identify him as a current member.

jbsets

Biden is a racist? Are you implying or saying outright that Trump is a racist? If you think Trump is not, you're not paying attention to what comes out of his mouth or his racist actions.

amerigirl

L4T, I don’t know what conspiracy theory news you pay attention to but you have it pretty screwed up. The exact quote was "Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly diverse attitudes about different things," Biden said. "You go to Florida, you find a very different attitude about immigration than you do in Arizona. So, it's a very diverse community." It never said all blacks think the same, it was about the political differences that are more widely spread in the Latino community. Never did it say “all blacks think the same and have zero diversity of thought”. That is just how conservative news played it up because it played into their agenda.

Loudoun4Trump

Joe Biden put blacks away to jail for decades for doing crack but let whitey off on probation and light sentences for doing cocaine....Joe Biden has been backtracking and having the media clean up his racist comments....he is a pervert and a racist....fits right in the democrat party.

ace10

Whilst on the subject of segregation:

Was Joe Biden's rejection of school integration the *most* racist part of his past?

Or was it more recent, when he suggested that blacks who choose to vote for someone other than him should have their racial identity taken away from them.

And let's not forget about his recent misadventure when he asked a black reporter if he was "taking cocaine" or a "junkie."

Just yesterday he suggested that the black community lacked the diversity of the latino community. I don't know if he even knew what he was saying, but I do know that it was a incredibly condescending and divisive remark.

Didn't Joe also support mass-incarceration during the Clinton years?

amerigirl

People change, well, except you.

countyresident

“People change”. LOL. Gasbag Biden said that yesterday. Fool

BobOhneiserEsq

If virtue and fairness signaling is now a priority of the BOS how about doing something MEANINGFUL for real people being disadvantaged TODAY? The elementary students who live in the Plaza Street area SHOULD be able to attend their neighborhood school they could walk to. If Frederick Douglas were alive and knew he had a nice new school named after him but the diverse population surrounding it were bused away from it I think he might have something provocative to say about the BOS focus on signaling about a sing instead of doing. something to help children today. :-). Second, What about all the poor families in Loudoun who don't have high speed internet at home which LCPS. has lazily assumed would be OK for online learning. Are you guys awake or so WOKE you can't see what is really happening to the poor in your own county? You do remember the BOS is responsible for what the school board spends and whether that is fair to the "FULL" community don't you?

jbsets

What does any of this political stuff have to do with changing out the engraving on a monument that won't be removed and the county won't pay for the change? If it involved our taxes, in today's economy, I would say put this on hold. Since someone else it paying for it, why does everyone care? You all think that you're not racist but you hate that the engraving will be alphabetical rather than segregated. Worried about black and white dresses? Really? I continue to be astounded that every discussion deteriorates into politics, racist comments, and nastiness. It's so sad that we can't be nice neighbors and worry about real stuff.[crying]

Voltaire

Jbsets—no, your premise is flawed. You are making a blanket statement that “You ALL (emphasis added)” hate the engraving being fixed and that implies racism. Not everyone feels that way. I, for one, don’t have any objection with the plaque being fixed. There are other people who hold viewpoints similar to mine. Therefore, not EVERYONE hates the engraving being fixed and therefore not EVERYONE is racist. Further, how do you define “nice neighbors” and “real stuff”?

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Concerned

Bob is 100% correct. I'm not sure why his comments would be brushed off.

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amerigirl

Concerned, because it doesn't apply to this article. Bob throws this exact same comments into many articles that it has nothing to do with.

KK153

world is in a pandemic, economy is circling the drain, small businesses are closing left and right, but by all means let's all focus on a 100 year old plaque that no more than 3 people in Loudoun County knew the names were segregated 10 days ago...and those 3 people are professional Marxist looking for "S" to stir up.

amerigirl

First, you don't know what a Marxist is. Second, it is just not right. There are so many things that we can't control right now what do you have against fixing one of the things that can be controlled?

KK153

I'm well aware of what a Marxist is... I'm also well aware that the number one deflection that Marxists always use is "you don't know what a Marxist is".

By the way, Marxism is a philosophy, not a political system.

jbsets

Actually it's both. If you use the term properly in the future, then I'll believe that you know what it is. And, just because someone doesn't completely mirror your thoughts doesn't make them a Marxist. I am so tired of being called something that I am NOT because sometimes I support something you aren't for. Even in Communist countries, not every person wants to be one. Same applies to fascist countries and the people there. What's so odd from all of you who love Trump and call anyone left of far right a Marxist is that you love Trump. He cozies up to Putin (Russia has been a Communist country since 1917 and Putin is a dictator); Ji (China since 1945 and Ji is a dictator who twisted the arms of the people to allow him to dictate for his life); and Un (North Korea also since 1945 and then tried to take over South Korea in the early 1950s and we fought a war to keep that from happening and Un is the third dictator in the line of his family and had his half brother killed so that he couldn't stage a coup). THOSE ARE ALL COMMUNIST COUNTRIES, but Trump exchanges love letters with these dictators and they fall in love.

amerigirl

Haha, just like the number one deflection the all those people in these post that say they aren't racist, right?

Voltaire

Jbsets—Actually, your statement about the Russian Federation is flawed. The Russian Federation is NOT a communist country. Further, political scientists disagree with your conclusion that Vladimir Putin is a dictator. For example, Stephen Crowley, a professor of politics at Oberlin College, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. "Most political scientists that I'm aware of would say that Russia is in between a democracy and an outright dictatorship, what some would call a 'hybrid regime' or 'electoral authoritarianism,' though Putin has certainly been drifting more toward [the] authoritarian side," Crowley said in an email. A dictator, as it is typically defined, is a ruler with absolute power over a region, power which has oftentimes been obtained by force. Putin, Crowley says, meets this criteria in a number of ways, including the ways he has safeguarded his hold on Russia's top political office and ruled largely through executive authority. But Crowley cautions against comparing the Russian president to other dictators, like North Korea's Kim Jong-Un or Syria's Bashar al-Assad, because Russia still has "contested elections, opposition parties, and at least some degree of freedom of speech."

jbsets

KKK: Do you even know what Marxism is? You frequently misuse the term and attribute it to historic people who are fascists. Despite Trump's comment about the "far left fascists," fascists are as far right as a person can get.

Voltaire

Jbsets—your premise is partially flawed. You stated: “…Despite Trump’s comment about the “far left fascists,” fascists are as far right as a person can get.” Actually, there is such a concept as a “left fascist”. Left-wing fascism and left fascism are sociological and philosophical terms used to categorize tendencies in left-wing politics and otherwise commonly attributed to the ideology of fascism. ... The term was formulated as a position by sociologists Jürgen Habermas and Irving Louis Horowitz. Also, there is the term “red fascism”. Red fascism is the term equating Marxist-Leninist ideologies such as Stalinism and Maoism with fascism.

RoundHillGuy

The Left Wing lunacy marches on. Stalin and Trotsky would be proud.

CindyLou

Roundhillguy…..lets hope so! To stop the radical racist right!!!! Civil war still rages on doesn't it???

Voltaire

CindyLou—really? You actually think Stalin would stop the "radical racist right"? You might wish to reconsider that statement. During Stalin’s time, he viewed counter-revolutionary elements in the Russia would attempt to derail the transition to full communism, and the state must be powerful enough to defeat them. That view would include BOTH left and right wing elements. Further, Stalin advocated totalitarianism and used the Great Purge (repression/genocide/arbitrary execution/ assassinations/forced imprisonment) to rid him of adversaries. Historians have estimated the total amount of deaths done under Stalin to be between 680,000 and 1,200,000. Stalin also conducted a broad-scale series of deportations that profoundly affected the ethnic map of the Soviet Union. By some estimates, hundreds of thousands of deportees may have died en route. It is estimated that between 1941 and 1949 nearly 3.3 million were deported to Siberia and the Central Asian republics. By some estimates, up to 43% of the resettled population died of diseases and malnutrition. According to official Soviet estimates, more than 14 million people passed through the gulags from 1929 to 1953, with a further 7 to 8 million being deported and exiled to remote areas of the Soviet Union (including entire nationalities in several cases). The emergent scholarly consensus is that from 1930 to 1953, around 1.5 to 1.7 million perished in the gulag system.

jbsets

What does this have to do with anything? NOT A SINGLE PERSON in this discussion is Communist. I also believe that NOT A SINGLE PERSON in this discussion is a Fascist. None of these people are as extreme as Stalin. I just don't get the comparison. I consider myself a moderate. I lean left in some things and right in others, yet people on these threads call me a Marxist and compare me and others to Antifa. Thankfully none of the "left wing lunatics" have called me a Fascist or compared me to Hitler. It's like you're not welcome to comment on any of these thread unless you are far right or far left. As I said in another post, if the county has to pay for the change to the monument, now's not the time to spend the money. If someone else is paying for it, then why not? No one's suggesting that we put the black soldiers' names above the white soldiers' names (because black is alphabetically ahead of white.) They just want to make the list alphabetical by name without differentiating by race. What is wrong with that? I don't agree, but I get why some people flipped about removing the Lee statue even though the county didn't pay for it, but what is the controversy of this? In my opinion, making a big deal out of this when no tax dollars will be spent on it, implies that those freaking out over it and calling those who support it Marxists or part of "the left wing lunacy, are racists even if they say otherwise. Again, I said IN MY OPINION.

Voltaire

Jbsets—My comment is relevant as it addresses the point(s) made by Cindy Lou/Round Hill Guy (RHG). In his initial post, RHG stated: “…The Left Wing lunacy marches on. Stalin and Trotsky would be proud.” In reply, Cindy Lou stated: “…..lets hope so! To stop the radical racist right!!!! Civil war still rages on doesn't it???” Cindy Lou is advocating for “Left Wind lunacy” (far left/communism) to tackle radical right (fascist). My comment simply provides historical context in that you wouldn’t want Far Left (communism) policies like those advocated by Stalin and/or Trotsky.

amerigirl

Exactly what does that have to do with the left wing anything? Blame game!!! We know who the real friend of the Russian is.

Voltaire

RHG—it is historically inaccurate to lump Stalin with Trotsky. Stalin, Lenin, and Trotsky had discernible ideological differences. Trotsky was openly critical of Stalinism. Trotsky was written out of the history books under Stalin and was one of the few Soviet political personalities who was not rehabilitated by the Soviet administration under Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s.

amerigirl

That means nothing to the person that determines that you are with him and his opinion or you are a liberal. He can't comprehend past that.

marv

At the rate those who wish to rewrite History, so that it conforms with their "current" philosophy are going, it will not be long before they demand a posthumans pardon for Nat Turner and John Brown.

LoudounClear

what's better, fixing that monument or letting it persist so folks like you can point to the names below and say, "those were colored troops" and feel a bit superior? You're kinda posthuman yourself :)

jbsets

I agree exactly with what you say except for the posthuman comment. What is a posthuman?

amerigirl

Did putting it up rewrite history? Nope, neither will changing it. Not a bad idea on Turner and Brown.

Voltaire

AG—you want Nat Turner and John Brown to receive a posthumous pardon? Are you serious? Neither one of these two individuals deserve a posthumous pardon. Based on the historical record’s discussion of their actions, both individuals deserved the punishment that they received. Scholars have noted that one of the most One of the most troubling aspects of the Southampton Revolt of 1831 was the killing of children. As reported in the Richmond Whig in August 29, 1831,“…whole families, father, mother, daughters, sons, sucking babes, and school children” were “butchered, thrown into heaps, and left to be devoured by hogs and dogs, or to putrefy on the spot.” It was reported that ten children under the age of five died in the rebellion. Those over the centuries who have condemned the rebels have fixated on this part of the incident to highlight the savage brutality, the injustice, and the lack of honor of the slaves who rose up in Southampton County on that hot August night. As for John Brown, he was nothing more than a domestic terrorist. He was a vicious ruffian during the “Bleeding Kansas” years of clashes between pro and anti-slave forces prior to the Civil War. He was the leader of an atrocity called the Pottawatomie Massacre near Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas on May 24 1856 in which five pro-slavery settlers were hacked to death. After the massacre Brown was quoted as saying, “God is my judge. It was absolutely necessary as a measure of self-defense, and for the defense of others.” As to his plans for Harper’s Ferry, Brown had hoped that thousands of slaves would flock to him so that they could maraud throughout Virginia causing terror and killing as they went. Brown had hoped that a massive race war would end slavery once and for all. He had as his template the 1831 slave insurrection in Virginia during which seventy some whites were murdered in their homes by escaped slaves led by Nat Turner, himself an escaped slave.

jbsets

I agree on Brown and Turner. From what I understand about Brown, he was kind of nuts. As for Turner, he thought he was doing the right thing, but ended up doing the wrong thing for the right reason (or something like that), but ultimately it was just plain wrong.

amerigirl

Volt, way too long for something I didn't say. It was a dig at Marv for pointing out incidents that have really have nothing to do with the men whose names are on this plaque who died for this country.

Voltaire

AG--got it. Fair point.

jbsets

postumus?

Voltaire

I believe the word is posthumous.

Imagemaker

Typical LTM headline uses "segregated" instead of "separated" to describe the names on the plaque. How long ago did the observant Supervisor Turner realize this "needed to be change" but waited until he could appear in the politically correct parade?

amerigirl

segregated; separated or divided along racial, sexual, or religious lines.

"segregated education systems", so it is correct. Are you trying to start some conspiracy theory about Mike Turner? Sure it's all some big conspiracy based on timing.

baseballandsunshine

segregated (seg·​re·​gat·​ed), adjective: practicing or maintaining segregation especially of races

jbsets

Isn't it annoying when the definition of the word uses the word to define the word?

jbsets

Ummm...it was segregation and based on the time, people would have freaked if the the names were combined into a single list.

CindyLou

You can't change the awful terrible that happened, but you sure as #ell can fix it!!!! Hundreds of years later people still don't get it's the HUMAN race, not the white or black race. Take it down, fix it! It makes me so sad to look at the picture of the Black WWI veterans who fought and died for the same reason the White WW1 veterans did, but the blacks didn't have the freedom or respect. This memorial is still a slap in the face. Take it down and fix it.

ace10

WW1 ended just over a century ago. Not sure if you knew that....

jbsets

Yeah but that doesn't mean we can't fix the monument. What is the problem?

ace10

Uh, WW1 wasn't "hundreds of years ago."

The poster has a recurring history problem.

Voltaire

CindyLou--the article stated "...Loudoun County Supervisor Mike Turner (D-Ashburn) said he plans to propose a new plaque that would alphabetize the names. Turner is aiming to offer a motion to the board in September after the supervisors’ August break. If approved, the Ashburn supervisor hopes a re-dedication ceremony can be held in 2022, the 100th anniversary of the memorial’s installation." So, it appears that they are working on correcting the plaque. So, what is the issue?

jbsets

All the people who are freaking out and calling it a leftist conspiracy (or whatever...having trouble finding the right word) and posting that the change is wrong

Lawman

Who careS capitalize or not, the monument needs to be changed! It is the last public sponsored vestige of Jim Crow in Loudoun County and it has to go. But I do believe there needs to be more displays of the insanity of white peoples and the measures they went through in this county and state to discriminate, to marginalize and to separate Black peoples. It should have signs, pictures, chains and even replica water fountains and say never again. White Americans needs to be reminded of its legacy. That will show the real history and culture of the South. Honoring war dead is not where we should have a memorial to racism.

Voltaire

Lawman--I believe that the article said that the County of Loudoun would fix the plaque and put it back in its original place. No, we don't need to have additional tax monies (state and/or local) being used for a campaign of statues. Due to COVID-19, the states/localities, with massive budget deficits, are now talking about cutting staff and reducing public services. I would think that that money would be better spent on providing essential services rather than on some "social messaging" campaign, as you are presenting.

jbsets

Your second sentence until the end if your OPINION

Voltaire

Jbsets—I am well aware that my overall statement is my opinion. However, it is based on factual evidence. For example, it is FACT that states and localities are talking about cutting staff and reducing public services. On April 27, 2020, in a report issued by House Budget Committee Chair John Yarmuth (D-KY) stated that “…the COVID-19 crisis is putting millions of state and local government jobs at risk,….Many of the jobs of teachers, fire fighters and other government employees will be at risk as states grapple with budget shortfalls shortfalls that could exceed the worst on record and it may be many years before the employment levels return to pre-crisis…As their jobs are at risk, so are schools, libraries, police and fire departments and other critical services…”There are also specific examples that support my premise: (1) The City of Los Angeles plans to force city workers to spend 26 days on unpaid leave as revenues are forecast to drop as much as $600 million next fiscal year; (2) The City of Detroit has proposed laying off 200 workers and furloughing thousands more; and (3) Ohio’s Hamilton County, Commissioner Denise Driehaus is taking a 10% pay cut alongside county workers. “We are really struggling,” Driehaus said.

Stepup

Living in the past is no substitute for learning from the past.

Past racism is no excuse for your racist attitude today.

Get a life.

Stepup

my comment is meant to reply to Lawman

TrazomAW

I think it much more effective action would be to place an engraved plaque next to the one already there, explaining in great detail WHY the names of the three black service members were down below, segregated from the names of the white service members. I think it’s an important historical document, showing how real Jim Crow once was in the United States, and shouldn’t know what I’d be altered, lest it lose its historical significance

amerigirl

You are right that it is important but also derogatory. They should replace it and have the original plaque in a museum. Personally I think it should be offered to the African American history Museum, because they could explain the reasoning and why it mattered.

jbsets

AG: Just replace the plaque. No need to replace the whole monument and move it anywhere.

Trazom: This isn't really one the monuments that needs a plaque to explain the first plaque, as well as the new plaque. Definitely should add explanation plaques for lots of other monuments and statues.

amerigirl

Yep, that's what I meant, and have the original plaque and have it put in a museum.

baseballandsunshine

Segregation is still happening. Racism is still happening. Jim Crow may be gone in name but it's still happening in spirit. Every single step we can take, as a nation, toward true equality is a good step. Anything else is a step backwards.

js

This PC BS is getting so out of hand lets forget everything that has ever happened and begin anew today history wise. BTW also lets force The Democratic party to change their name as they were proponents of everything bad in this country against blacks to include but not limited to the KKK

amerigirl

What a narrow-minded assertion. There is a definite lack of history knowledge in that statement. The dens and repubs switched platforms so those who would have been the KKK then would be republicans now. Not to mention that you seem to think that everything is democratic and republican and that independent causes have to be part of one party or the other. Wake up and realize there is more to the world than the small minded spectrum you have put it in.

Stepup

How in the world can you accuse JS of thinking everything is democrat or republican then make a statement that those who would have been the KKK then would be republicans now? That is a stupid comment and an insult to republicans to insinuate that with a ridiculous analogy. Talk about small-minded.

amerigirl

Because he always says anything he disagrees with is a liberal idea, no matter who said it. If you think that is a stupid comment you must have been sleeping in history class. https://www.history.com/news/how-the-party-of-lincoln-won-over-the-once-democratic-south. If you didn’t know this you would be the one small minded.

amerigirl

Wait, what is all this talk of renaming parties???? This is actually part of history that happened in the Lincoln era with the Dixiecrat's. It wasn't a renaming it was how the platforms for the 2 largest parties switched ideologies. This can be looked up in any US history book. It is recorded HISTORY and FACTUAL. OMG do you guys not understand his part of history?

amerigirl

Concerned, maybe it should read Waterford was acquisitioned from (list all) in 1733

jbsets

Let's rename the Independents too, especially since there are more of them in this country than either of the other two parties. (Me being sarcastic)

Concerned

Any thoughts on the Waterford Gentrification Foundation "taking" African American properties at pennies on a dollar; the fiction that it was settled by the Quakers, "taking" land from the Native Americans; burying the sale/possession of slaves into the very late 1800's (if not longer)? Why selective outrage? At a minimum, the signs posted stating Waterford was settled in 1733 need to be removed.

jbsets

Let's change the name of the Republican party too and start anew. How do you force that? I could be wrong but I see guns and shooting in this country's future, especially since a study conducted by William and Mary of the military, most enlisted said that they would back Trump and shoot Americans if he asked. AMERICANS in AMERICA! One guy said that if his unit gets sent to the Middle East, the first thing he would do in a fight is shoot the Muslims in his unit in the back and doesn't care if they were Americans born in the US. Real nice. I hope that everyone who reads this is scared by this.

DaPark

Why am I not surprised there is a bunch of right winged butthurt in these comments. This is another long overdue change. Solid work Mr. Turner.

MillerStuart

Who is is paying for all these so called ridiculous changes? Surely not my tax money?

baseballandsunshine

Can you not read? The article on which you are commenting literally says: "Funds for a replacement plaque could come from veterans groups and be collected by the county into the War Memorial Trust Fund launched in 1986, according to county staff. As of July 31, the balance was more than $23,000."

Voltaire

Baseballandsunshine—OK. I don’t have a problem with veterans’ groups wanting to fix this plaque. However, poster “MillerStuart” does bring up a good point. The article stated that “…the county Heritage Commission’s recommendation on making the courthouse grounds a better reflection of the county’s history. The recommendations include reserving space for a future interpretive “Path Toward Freedom”, possibly designing and installing additional memorials…” So, who is going to pay for this “site enhancement” with these additional statues? I would think that, given the dire financial condition that local/state governments are facing, that funding should go to financing public services not “grounds enhancement.” I certainly don’t think that this “initiative” should justify an increase in taxes either.

jbsets

The Virginia Garden Club? (Please tell me that I don't have to say that I am joking)

amerigirl

Yep I saw hat I thought you were referring to something already in the works. Thanks

Squaks11

Not sure why anyone would be against this.

LoudounClear

You obviously haven't been reading comments on the LTM site for very long.

Voltaire

Squaks11--I don't have a problem with fixing this plaque. I think that is great that two veterans' groups are willing to fund the repair of this plaque. What I do have a problem with is the concept that the Loudoun County Government is willing to spend taxpayer money to erect additional statues, as identified by the County's Heritage Commission, yet whine that, due to COVID-19, they don't have money to maintain public services. That idea is a classic example of fiscal irresponsibility. They should use taxpayer funding to finance public services.

jbsets

How about we whine those "new" statues when they become a reality? Go to the BOS meeting when they talk about it and make your case. Complaining here isn't going to even get on their radar. You think that even a single one reads these threads?

Voltaire

Jbsets: First, who is this “we” that you are referring to? Second, the last time that I checked, the law states that I can opine on any topic that I want. Third, how do you know what the “tone” of my communication is? You don’t but hey don’t let that stop you from making an unwarranted assumption that it is a “whine” The definition of a “whine” is as follows: to utter a low, usually nasal, complaining cry or sound, as from uneasiness, discontent, peevishness, etc. Given that my comment is in written form posted on a website, your “ability” to deduce that would probably rival that of Sherlock Holmes. My statement was a declarative statement, not a “whine”. Fourth, how do you know that local government decision makers do NOT read this site? Again, you do not and are making another baseless assumption. Do you have any evidence to back up this “claim”? No.

amerigirl

What new statues?

Voltaire

AG--In the article, it stated that the Loudoun County Heritage Commission made some recommendations on making the courthouse grounds a better reflection of the county’s history. The recommendations include reserving space for a future interpretive “Path Toward Freedom,” possibly designing and installing additional memorials and facilitating community discussions about the future of the courthouse grounds.

jke

Utter nonsense and a complete waste of time.

Jeanne T

Why is "black" capitalized and "white" is in lower case?

Moderator

Hi, Jeanne. Thank you for reading and for your question. We've gotten that inquiry a few times over the past month. With few exceptions, we follow Associated Press guidelines, and the AP recently changed its style guide to capitalize "Black." Here's more information if you're interested --> "AP says it will capitalize Black but not white" -- https://apnews.com/7e36c00c5af0436abc09e051261fff1f

gtrunner

Well it’s good to know who we can ultimately blame.

ace10

Consider this.... the Associated Press didn't hire their first full-time black reporter until 115 years after the organization was founded.

IN 1961.

They are hardly a beacon of light for racial equality and fairness in the United States.

Segregation was the "style guide" for American society in 1922. If the people who were in charge of creating this plaque were to have consulted the AP for guidance on how to arrange the name of these heroes, the whites would have been listed first and then the blacks.

So here we are today, and the LTM is appealing to the AP as an authority to support an OBVIOUSLY incorrect usage of the words "white/White" and "black/Black.

These are races of HUMAN BEINGS. Equal, Right? White and Black OR white and black. No amount of pretzel logic offered by a news agency will change that.

Bottom Line: The AP is wrong. And so are you, LTM.

Loudoun1965

From the article you (Moderator) cited: "Some proponents believe that keeping white lowercase is actually anti-Black, saying it perpetuates the idea that whites are the default race." Put another way, being white is mainstream, so capitalizing all other races brings attention to the fact that in America, being anything other than white is non-standard. Is that the message you wish to convey?

Stepup

The Washington Post will capitalize both Black and White.

More silliness by WAPO, Ap and LTM.

ace10

You mean aP.

Stepup

Now that's funny, Ace!

LoudounClear

Jeanne, it's another legacy of our past where "white" was normal and good and anything was "the other." There is a move afoot now to capitalize White when used in the context of race and it makes as much sense as saying "Black" to cover all the brown and black and anything in between people. I'd be more upset if Whites were suddenly called "people of no color" to differentiate them from "people of color." One hopes we won't get to that level...since Whites are not uniformly albino.

Stepup

Let’s stop the color coding of human beings altogether.

Labels for people, whether color or sexuality, has gotten to the point of silliness.

Identity politics has aggravated race relations and is dividing the country in unhealthy ways.

jbsets

You are so correct!

jbsets

LOL. I heard that it was to make both lower case. Funny. I do like "people of no color." I know some people who are so pale that they would blind you on the beach. (Guess I need to say that the last sentence is a joke!)

jbsets

That started in the 60s. There is a movement to change both to lower case. I just saw an article about that. I think that it was written by a black woman and why it has to happen

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