“I Can’t Breathe” Walk Through Leesburg | Fist

An image of a raised fist to represent solidarity and support for the black community was left at the foot of the Confederate statue on the Loudoun County Courthouse grounds during a late May demonstration.

This may well be the final time we pen an editorial on Loudoun County’s Confederate statue issue (problem).

At long last, the time has come. That thing is getting gone.

With the Board of Supervisors’ unanimous vote this week, the monument that has rested at the foot of the Loudoun County Courthouse for 112 years is on its way out. The United Daughters of the Confederacy has until early September to come collect its property.

Many people deserve credit for leading the charge on removal, local NAACP leaders Phillip Thompson, Pastor Michelle Thomas and county Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) among them.

“I have been vehemently fighting to have this statue removed for six years,” Thompson said. “As president of the Loudoun NAACP, we held a rally in 2015 demanding its removal. We petitioned the county in 2016, 2017 and 2018 to have it removed. We pushed for legislation for many years and finally got it passed in 2020. I appreciate the leadership of Chair Phyllis Randall and Vice Chair Koran Saines, the other members of the Board of Supervisors and the Loudoun state delegation.”

Unfortunately, Tuesday night’s vote wasn’t the unifying moment it could’ve been, thanks to first-term Supervisor Caleb Kershner (R-Catoctin).

As Randall noted Wednesday, “The unanimous vote that occurred last night did not happen because all of my colleagues realized the statue never should have been erected, it occurred because the United Daughters of the Confederacy knew that after 112 years the tide had finally turned and requested their property back.”

“The UDC does not deserve credit for being forced to undo what should have never been done,” Randall continued. “Removing a monument to the Confederacy doesn’t erase history, it corrects it. I was proud to cast my vote in the name of thousands of African Americans citizens who came before me, who were enslaved, who lived through Jim Crow, who were freedom fighters and who have now passed on. Now, it’s time to look to the future and have a community conversation that includes the voices of all Loudoun’s citizens, not just a select few. Together, we will decide what monuments should sit on public property.”

Indeed, the vote didn’t come because all supervisors finally recognized the stain the statue has been on Loudoun for more than a century — and especially since the racist, deadly riots in Charlottesville and recent killings of unarmed Black people at the hands of law enforcement.

No, in what could’ve been a coalescing moment, Kershner, the lone board member who recently voiced support for keeping the monument at the courthouse, chose to speak up, yet again, in defense of the statue.

“If indeed this is the statue of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, then I think we have no other choice but then to adopt this motion. I think then we would face a legal battle otherwise. I will support the motion for that, not because I would like to see the statue removed or any other statue. You know, this is just one statue … it’s much more the precedent that I am very, very, very concerned that we will be setting, and that is anything that has some inkling of offense in history … ”

Inkling. Inkling? A monument commemorating the “Lost Cause” of slavery carries only an “inkling” of offense? Talk about offensive.

As several readers have noted in recent letters to the editor, the rookie supervisor has a lot of learning and listening to do.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy’s return request was the closing chapter in the monument debate no one seemed to see coming. But we contend it may be the swiftest and safest conclusion. We’re proud of Loudoun’s elected leaders and citizens alike for not taking to the streets in violent protest or attempting to bring down the monument themselves. We’re proud most of the citizenry has realized it’s past time to do away with symbols and celebrations of our dark, inexplicable and despicable past. Simply, we’re just proud that thing is getting gone.

(59) comments

jke

For many and myself included the past few weeks have been nothing more than the continuation of the "culture war" against peoples of the South that have gone on my entire life. The very same individuals who have sought to destroy the "southern identity" through mischaracterizations and blatant lies are the same ones who demand others respect their identity. The identity that forms the very foundational mindset of a southerner that can be attributed in many things but nothing greater than military service if totally ignored. The fact that our military is overwhelmingly "southern" is undeniable. The act of service is grounded in an identity that based in honor and duty towards things greater than themselves.

I have long doubted that most of the current progressive movements of this day even remotely comprehend such things as honor and duty or the "loss" felt by an entire region following a war that was fought predominately on Virginian soil. The sense of "loss" today in terms of the feelings expressed by those that object to Confederate monument removal has nothing to do with slavery or any defense of that institution whatsoever. Just like those that erected statues at the turn of twentieth century, many southerners have a sense of obligation to preserve the memory of those who gave full measure or commanded those that did throughout Virginia. The belief in preservation is in no way and endorsement of prior generations failings rather it is an acknowledgement that though they were flawed men they were still Virginians.

I had the honor this week of walking the hallowed ground of Antietam National Battlefield this week. Honor is a word mostly lost in the political discourse of today. In today's social justice identity environment that consumes Virginia, merely walking a civil war battlefield today many would in one manner or another pass judgement upon anyone visiting a battlefield. Today its as if in some manner visit is an insult to the "wokeness" of others. In the last few weeks, we have forgotten a piece ourselves and have entered into a surreal consciousness that people somehow must feel a level of shame or guilt as it relates to whom they may be descended from or on the basis of their skin color.

Antietam Campaign | Visit Maryland

Sunken Road or "Bloody Lane" Antietam

We are experiencing an environment where "whites" today must somehow feel accountable for the "sins" of their ancestors or some level of "shame" for events and institutions they took no part in themselves whereas no accountability is placed upon those Africans tribes that sold their fellow Africans into slavery to begin with. Individuals today are free to desecrate, destroy, topple or simply vandalize property with no accountability. Today, people are excused for violence simply out of some claim for social justice change justification.

The hot lead of the battlefields all across the country paid little mind to race, color or creed. At Antietam almost 20,000 Americans were killed or wounded in one of the most picturesque rolling countryside's in all of Maryland. As you travel along the winding roads of western Maryland, you are almost taken back to the period where two armies clashed along Antietam Creek and in the cornfields yet one can't help but recognize the hundreds of "TRUMP 2020" yard signs and banners along the way in the small towns that line the journey west up to South Mountain. This is western Maryland which does not share the same values as eastern Maryland no different than the relationship much of rural Virginia has with Northern Virginia.

The events of the last month in Virginia, especially Richmond, prompted my wife and I to visit Antietam. The frustrations of being shouted down and the silencing of voices by the new majority in Richmond created a desire to travel to Antietam if for no other reason to to play homage to a generation of Americans that sacrificed so much for this nation. Many Virginians filled the ranks of the Army of Northern Virginia that crossed the Potomac River that September 1862 into Maryland. Having been born a Virginian, the battles of the Civil War carry great significance in terms of my own "horizontal identity" whereas my wife who was born in Maryland traces her heritage and ancestral arrival in America in years following the war.

Antietam National Cemetery

Every monument at Antietam was pristine. Untouched by the current social justice movements targeting war memorials. It was as if the hundreds of monuments located at Antietam had just been power washed by Maryland storms coming over the South Mountain range during the night before. No graffiti or protest paint anywhere to be found. No disrespect. This was not lost on the many walking the battlefield as one could hear the whispers of visitors. I observed a father reading a monumental plaque to his son relating to the Pennsylvanians that died at Antietam and could see the boy moved as he turned to his left and stepped up upon the monument looking out upon the field beyond the fence line with his hand upon his forehead shielding him from the glare of the hot sun. The boy stood starring out upon the field most likely envisioning the armies moving into position.

As I walked down the hallowed sunken road which would forever be known as the "Bloody Road", I stopped and began thinking of Richmond. A city that has determined that none of its Civil War memorials should remain. A city that has never fully embraced its past. A city that appears more inclined to be ashamed by it than embrace it as the way point of American history that defines all the progress that America has experienced. None of the monuments erected at Antietam were erected as some "socio-political" statement nor in truth were the monuments in Richmond. The notion that statues and monuments erected were such is simply a fabrication of modern political activism used as a sword and as a means of generating financial contributions via a fraud perpetuated upon society.

History should never be used as a sword rather it should always be used as a shield for future generations. A shield to remind those that come in future generations what can happen when we as Americans persist in allowing the politics of division to consume us as a society. The thousands of fallen Americans at Antietam and battlefields just like her that line the hallowed grounds of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania are a testament to that failure.

People gather at the Robert E. Lee Monument on June 20, 2020 in Richmond, Va.

Robert E. Lee Monument , Richmond

The monuments that line Civil War battlefields are not honoring slavery or the "defense of slavery" anymore than Monument Avenue represents any commentary directed at that aspect of history. The truth is the majority of monuments and memorials journey began in the years leading up to the 50th Anniversary of the Civil War and had nothing to do with Jim Crow. The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC)was not some nineteenth century radical, right wing leaning, racist organization that 2020 politicians and activists seek to portray it as. The Southerner identity today has simply become yet another "litmus test" orchestrated by progressive activism in an attempt to shame whites for a past they took no part in or in truth may have no relation to whatsoever save being "white". This in itself the very same kind of "profiling" or the kind of racism the progressive left says it opposes. It has become nothing more than another line in the sand like support for the NRA or opposition to Planned Parenthood for example. Simply another vehicle to divide Virginians in a manner in which to point across a street and tell others they are to blame for the condition of others not based on their actions but based on their identity. An identity that may as much "vertical" as "horizontal" in truth.

The progressive left's tentacles like the Southern Poverty Law Center and some would even argue the Virginia ACLU advance the narrative that the UDC funded war memorials at the turn of the century derived from a position of hate. In truth the UDC has had a hand in some 700 monuments nationally playing tribute to the sacrifice and honoring the memory of the fallen during the Civil War. This has made the UDC an easy target for the left. But is it justified? The UDC raised private money for the support of preserving the memories of the fallen not some radical, racist agenda as continually asserted by the left. The UDC has roughly twenty thousand members and rarely acts if ever as a "political" organization. The majority of the women behind UDC that advanced monuments and memorials erected in the year of the 50th Anniversary were actual descendants of the Confederate fallen. This effort was organized to address tall the mourning experienced in the war torn South post Reconstruction.

This mourning is routinely dismissed by the left. They see monuments as nothing more than a political statement, however they totally ignore the simply realities of post war South. What the South experienced in truth would be very similar if in four years 80% of all these Black Lives Matter protesters had lost their lives. If the majority of all millennial men in Virginia were dead by 2024. That is the true reality which Virginia faced in the decades post war. Virginia lost a virtual generation during the war ages 18-30. The young progressives today have experienced little to resemble this fact in their lives.

It's unanimous: All nine Richmond City Council members back ...

J.E.B. Stuart Monument (now removed in Richmond)

Most of the Richmond protesters have never seen battle let alone anything resembling Antietam. Most have never served their country or their communities through service or put their lives on the line for something greater than themselves. Nothing in this new progressive left movement echo's the words of either John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King Jr. In fact, the new movement draws a closer correlation to Marxism in truth. The effort is grounded in entitlement and blame. Progressives seek to blame others for the very nature of things that they themselves are responsible for in the very cities all across the country their leaders control. Richmond, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago are not controlled by conservative leaders rather they are lead by progressive politicians.

Racism exists in our society, however the unspoken reality in places like Richmond is that such racism is not advanced in truth only by "whites". The systematic racism existing in Richmond is advanced by the black political power establishment that has controlled city politics for decades. This establishment has overseen the city and its institutions for decades and now seeks to blame or place the "guilt" for its failures at the feet of a declining "white" population in the city. There has been little effort the last thirty years to curb or address this so-called "institutional racism" by city leaders. Who controls these "institutions" exactly? Who hires and fires? Who holds employees accountable? Instead you see a city determined to keep "racism" alive so they can use said racism as the "shiny object" to point to and rail against every few years during campaigns or for fundraising purposes like today.

The UDC and many Virginians worked to support the erection of monuments and memorials out of love, sadness, mourning and respect for the fallen whereas the progressive left and people like Mayor Levar Stoney of Richmond have removed them out of anger and hate. This difference is not lost on the thousands of Virginians who will no longer visit Richmond. The monuments at Antietam are meant to honor the sacrifice of those that fought on that hallowed ground because that ground was in fact where thousands lay dead. Richmond herself was the "Capital of the Confederacy" and there was/is no better place for Virginians that commanded other Virginians than Monument Avenue given the correlation between the battlefield and the city and what they each represented to the era. These men were perceived as "defenders of Virginia" NOT defenders of slavery. Richmond was to be defended at all costs.

It is my hope that that little boy standing upon the monument at Antietam one day could visit the Richmond I knew and loved growing up as a child. The rich history celebrated within the city limits that chronicles true Virginia history and honors her past with the respect that each era is a different time and a different way point contributing to who we are as a people today. How long before we lose our battlefields that may "offend" one element or another in society. Decades ago we used to permit our school children to visit the battlefield on field trips. Why did we stop? What were the forces opposing school field trips to battlefield especially in Virginia?

Virginians are an honorable and good people. We do great disservice to our traditions and legacy allowing monuments to be desecrated even in the end if they all must come down. Its not the matter or decisions made that these monuments come down but rather the manner in which we as a people determine "how" they should come down and where they should be relocated.

Voices matter. Today, the progressive left has controlled the dialogue and has attempted to shame anyone willing to stand up and voice opposition to them or support a different view (see Goya Foods) . It is clear they are attempting to weaponize shame and "white guilt" as a means of advancing their agenda. The southern ethos as an identity is clearly the target of this "culture war".

The loss of of such historical fixtures of one's life is very meaningful and had the removal of monuments been undertaken in a respectful manner for the most part the majority of Virginians may have accepted the transition however coupled with the dozens of proposals of name changes to schools and streets the entire movement has forced many Virginians to "vote with their wallets" and refuse to not only support Richmond but no longer support institutions or universities/schools forced to change names directly impacting the future endowments. We have no way of knowing how the name change to Washington & Lee University ultimately will impact the future of an institution that honored its savior in truth with adding Lee to its name in 1870.

The question further remains how Virginia will even market its actual history to Americans in the future. Dated as it is, the "Virginia is for Lovers" campaign no longer clearly applies to the Old Dominion as it is very hard these days to point to any "love" or respect in large part due to the divisive nature of political tribalism.

Jonathan Scott, Contributor

Voltaire

Jonathan--I wanted to take a moment to simply say THANK YOU for very eloquently telling this side of the story. I totally agree with you about the lasting impact that this tragedy will have on both Virginia's and particularly the Richmond area's economy. It is very sad, from someone who grew up there, to see this happen to a beautiful city and area. Richmond, and the whole Richmond-Petersburg Area, was, for the most part, a nice place to live and raise a family. My mom's family is from down there (Dinwiddie County, precisely). She, and most of her family, have unfortunately passed away but I know that they were proud of living down there and being "Southerners". I know that they would be utterly appalled at what has happened down there now. Again, THANK YOU for telling the REAL story of what has happened down there and providing a very needed perspective. God Bless You.

Loudoundad

So, when they dedicate a new plaque marking the spot a Black man was lynched, I trust, with respect for history and heritage, you will be at the unveiling to honor the fallen. Correct?

amerigirl

No a basic lack of understanding

David Dickinson

This is a terrible change. This statue is one of 6-7 war memorials on the courthouse lawn. The marker simply states this statue is a memorial to the Confederate dead of Loudoun County. It is not a Confederate statue, it is a statue to the County's fallen men in America's most destructive war. The only hatred it represents is the hatred of the people that have projected their own problems on it.

Sunday Sinner

First you say it is a memorial to the confederate dead of Loudoun, then you go on to say it is not a confederate statue. That makes zero sense.

David Dickinson

It is not a statue to the Confederacy. It is a statue to the Confederate war dead. It is a memorial to those individual soldiers that died, not the country that lost the war. This is why the removal is such a shame. We are removing the memories of these soldiers.

Sunday Sinner

That doesn't make sense. Germany is somehow able to study its history without raising statues of Hitler all over the place.

David Dickinson

It makes complete sense. Some of the Loudouners who put the statue up were relatives of the soldiers that died. This statue is a memorial to their deaths. I don't know what Germany has done, and I really don't care. Putting up a memorial to one's dead relatives is as American as apple pie. These Loudoun men that died, as has been the plight of most soldiers throughout history, had little influence on the events that pulled them into the battles that killed them.

Sunday Sinner

You are aware they would all be dead be now no matter the reason. Sorry people's ancestors here died trying to preserve slavery, but now it's time to take out the trash.

David Dickinson

"Sorry people's ancestors here died trying to preserve slavery, but now it's time to take out the trash." That is an overly simplistic view of the Civil War and this statue. We shouldn't be taking down monuments simply because they were erected prior to 1950. Some thought should be put into this. As we have seen from the unthinking mobs across the country that are pulling down statues without context, burning churches, and causing mayhem, there is a lot of emotion but very little thought going into these actions.

Sunday Sinner

Yeah I've heard it ALL. All the REAL reasons for the Civil War. I don't buy any of it. Slavery was enshrined in the Confederate Constitution. That's all it comes down to. These confederate statues are going into storage, good riddance.

amerigirl

Then why is it at the courthouse and not a cemetery? Isn't that where memorials belong? Yes it is a statue to the Confederacy in the sense that it recognizes those who fought against the US to support slavery.

amerigirl

David, it wasn’t Loudouners that erected that statue it was the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Putting to up memorials to the dead maybe American as apple pie but the memorials that this group has had erected at them at many locations which are usually courthouses and on highly visible public spots and meant as forms of intimidation. They still, no matter how you look at it, fought against our country and do not need to be memorialized in public spaces for doing that.

amerigirl

Yes, the dead that died fighting for the confederacy, traitors to the US, how is that not honoring the confederacy?

Voltaire

Sunday Sinner--Concerning Germany, you are correct that there are no statues for Hitler and his party. However, there are memorials within each town/village where they identify the villagers/townspeople who died fighting in the German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht/Kriegsmarine/Luftwaffe).

Voltaire

David Dickinson--wow. I am glad that this community promotes "differing viewpoints" and appreciates a "global perspective". Actually, you are wrong. Putting a memorial for dead countrymen is not exclusive to the USA. The rest of the world does it as well.

Voltaire

Sunday Sinner--OK. There are MORE reasons (economic and political) for the Civil War than just slavery. The historical record supports that conclusion. Whether you "buy it" or not is not relevant because that is historical FACT. I can't say that ALL those statues are going into storage. There is some private interest from a Russian oligarch about buying a few of them that have significance to the Russian Federation. Some, probably most, of them will go into museums.

Voltaire

AG--no, actually it was Loudouners who erected the statue. The Loudoun Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy erected the statue that is being returned to them.

Voltaire

David--actually, there is nothing wrong with the removal of the statues. Robert E Lee himself said, after the Civil War, that there shouldn't be any statues erected for the Confederates as that would cause continued pain for the nation and would slow its development. He though the same about battlefields. The removal of the statue does not remove the memories of these soldiers from the annuals of history at all.

Voltaire

AG--no, you cannot consider the Confederates to be "traitors" as President Andrew Johnson officially pardoned them of the crime of treason in December 25, 1868. Now, you may and do disagree with that, but that is an official Presidential action and carries the weight of the office and therefore they are not considered traitors any more.

amerigirl

Volt, yes, I can and do consider confederates traitors. Johnson was not elected he only became president after Lincoln was assassinated. He was a terrible president that was impeached. The logistics of the matter don’t make it right.

Voltaire

AG--well, that is your personal opinion. As I have said previously, the fact that Andrew Johnson assumed office legally and made that pardon in his official capacity of President does matter from a legal standpoint and they cannot officially be considered traitors as they were officially pardoned. The ethics of the matter is subject to debate but does not tarnish the legality of the action.

amerigirl

If that isn't a confederate soldier what is it? And why should people pass an armed person on their way into the courthouse?

masonskeep

Now the Board of Sillyvisors and Randall is in the illustrious comapny of Pol Pot and the Taliban.

amerigirl

do you have elementary aged kids?

GovWhiteRobes

"That thing is getting gone."

Just like the history books you burn, you destroyed the english literature ones too huh?

It is telling that a journalist cheering on the destruction and obfuscation of history can't form coherent sentences.

Voltaire

GovWhiteRobes--I don't think English literature will help with sentence construction. I think you are referencing English grammar books.

amerigirl

Who burns books? Fantasy land. History won't change, it didn't change when it went up.

David Dickinson

Books are so 20th century. Cars, stores, dumpsters, houses, etc. That's what 21st century Democrats burn.

Sunday Sinner

How many black churches have you burned down?

amerigirl

So where are all these democratic fires? Give an example

Sunday Sinner

I'm glad the Klan is here in full farce to share their 'diverse' opinions. LOL!

RoundHillGuy

There is no Klan in Loudoun, that is a lie used by Dems. Again, tell me where they meet in Loudoun County, show me a FB page where they organize, name one member. I can name 2 hate groups that are active right now, Burn Loot Murder and Antifa.

Sunday Sinner

KKK Imperial Wizard spotted!

Voltaire

RHG--In February 2018, there was KKK recruitment literature found in various locations within Loudoun County. According to the LTM article at the time, "...Packets of hate materials attempting to recruit Loudoun residents to join the KKK have been distributed in Leesburg, Upperville and Lovettsville neighborhoods during the night on multiple occasions since late last year. Most were left on driveways or on lawns. KKK literature was also sent to Times-Mirror offices." That action was sufficient enough for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and the Town of Leesburg Police Department to investigate and for a lawyer for the KKK to challenge that investigation.

amerigirl

They could very well live in Loudoun and be part of a charter in another county

Topdog1

Glad to see all the politicians and other ignorant people bowing to this Marxist BLM movement. Do your research, they have nothing to do with helping black people out of their current situation, they only look to create chaos and extort money from businesses and simpleton donors to further their agenda. You will never appease mob mentality and you should not do things to appease them like remove statues ... believe me it will never end as long as you give in. Get smart and have some courage against these people

amerigirl

Marxist? oh boy another conspiracy theorist. You should do your own history check maybe you are looking at the wrong BLM, there are 2. Extort money, BS. Mob mentality is more like those 2A and liberate to reopen protesters that protested with their gun and hardly a mask in sight screaming into the faces of others during a pandemic. Stand against those people who are tying to kill you and let you get shot and sick because they are false Americans that care about no one but themselves, very unpatriotic.

Djfmer

So the choice is are you African -American or American? If African you can go back to Africa. If an American citizen then you're probably only an American, no matter your skin tone. You can't have it both ways. The NAACP really has no value added all it does is promote racism, hate and discontent.

DavisB

apparent the NAACP has had not success fighting racism if your writing is any evidence. We can only hope that your children learn and become better at being a human that you

amerigirl

Said by a truly white person who hasn't been the brunt of the inequality.

amerigirl

Than what about the Asian Americans? European Americans? Native Americans? Canadian Americans? Have you thought that maybe if people hadn't started calling others derogatory names for the color that they are, the separations by their originality would not have had to exist? There is a reason that Blacks can now ride anywhere on the bus, use the same restroom, at tables in restaurants and do so many other thing they could not do that whites had the privilege of doing. You're living in denial.

Sunday Sinner

Oh looky here! Another White Southern RACIST that knows what's best for all those other inferior races! Why won't they just get in line and respect The Honorable White Race???

springerdad

Thankfully LTM lets Sunday Sinner post his messages even after they said they would better monitor what is posted. This is one of their rules not mine.

Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.

BobOhneiserEsq

Now that the BOS is proud they actually accomplished something how about raising the stakes a bit for the benefit of all of Loudoun. Pull Dulles Airport back into Virginia so property taxes can be applied to the extremely profitable parking lots. Does anyone who cares about the plight of the former slaves who had their land quite questionably TAKEN by eminent domain without hearings to create the airport in the first place?

Second, how about getting Gov. Northam to stop draining the funds from sales taxes away from Loudoun via the composite index? When the BOS has done that maybe they can put some effort into understanding why during this perfect low traffic period NOTHING was done to expand Route 15 north of Leesburg nor was there even a meeting set up with Maryland and federal transport resources to resolve the long standing problem with interstate commutation. Let's get back to working for all the people in Loudoun! :-)

Voltaire

Bob—OK. To meet the growing demand for airport capacity in the National Capital Area, Congress passed the Washington Airport Act of 1950 (and amended it further in 1958) to provide for “…the construction, protection, operation, and maintenance of a public airport in or in the vicinity of the District of Columbia.” The current site was selected by President Eisenhower in 1958. The act gave the Federal Government the authority to acquire the property where Dulles International Airport currently stands and there is no evidence to show that the Federal Government did not adequately compensate those persons whose land was taken by eminent domain in accordance with the law at the time. In accordance with Metropolitan Washington Airports Act of 1986, Title VI of Public Law 99 500, The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) was established to operate as a financially self-sustaining entity with the mission to manage and enhance Washington, D.C.'s two-airport system (Ronald Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport). The authority leases the airports from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). The USDOT originally built the airports and continues to own the underlying airport property except for property acquired by MWAA subsequent to the lease. Since the airport is owned by the Federal Government, just like military installations, the County of Loudoun cannot annex (“pull”) the property into the County or assess property tax.

Concerning the sales tax, the Commonwealth of Virginia collects a sales tax for the entire Commonwealth not just for Loudoun County. Accordingly, the Commonwealth of Virginia should distribute the funding across all cities/counties in Virginia and would therefore have to use a composite index to determine amounts to be sent back to the cities/counties and ensure fairness/equity.

As for the expansion of Route 15, according to a presentation provided to the Board of Supervisors by the County’s Department of Transportation and Capital Planning, the project is currently going through environmental assessments/studies as required by law. These studies have to be completed before there can be actual civil construction on the roadway. The construction for Phase 1 of the project is estimated to commence in the first half of 2024. The construction for Phase 2 is scheduled to commence the second half of 2025. If there is going to be a discussion on interstate transportation issues, then the Governor of Virginia and the Virginia Department of Transportation would be leading this meeting with the Governor of Maryland/Maryland Department of Transportation and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration.

LetsBreal

Bob, we don't need anymore taxes. What Loudoun needs are fewer paper pushers, bureaucrats and busy bodies. We've had enough "social engineering" by people who think they know better, but really don't. The Loudoun government (school system and all) suffers terribly from "administrative creep".

jke

The fist raised is a symbol for rioters and destroyers.

It is a memorial you are taking down.

What next the panderers taking tribal names from countries in Africa?

Sunday Sinner

LOL what are all these RACIST fat chicks going to do with all these statues? Probably bury them in the ground and hold memorial services LOL!

Voltaire

Sunday Sinner--like making unsupportable blanket statements? Can you prove that ALL the membership of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) are racist? No, but don't let that stop you from making unsubstantiated claims. Also, the UDC are only to reclaim the Confederate soldier statue found within the courthouse grounds in Leesburg. There is NOTHING in this editorial opinion that supports that the UDC are reclaiming ALL the statues in the South. Good grief.

Sunday Sinner

LOL you're right, I'm sure all these RACIST fat chicks will soon become overburdened trying to collect their RACIST statues back and will be back to collecting McDonalds instead. LOL!

Voltaire

Sunday Sinner--wow. I am glad to see that this "community" is so "tolerant" and "accepting of diverse opinions. Simply juvenile.

Sunday Sinner

Why don't you create a musuem dedicated to RACISM where you can put all your RACIST statues? LOL!

Voltaire

Sunday Sinner--There is no need to create a new museum. There are establishments already in existence that can support these statues. You can put those statues in a Civil War museum or an American History museum. Another option would be to put them in a Civil War battlefield. Those statues are NOT racist. That is your interpretation and that is subjective at best.

Sunday Sinner

Oh of course none of these people were racist, nossir, and didn't fight to create a government that forced its member states present and future to preserve slavery. Can't imagine why anyone would have a problem with them!

Voltaire

Sunday Sinner--Cute. Like to use racial stereotypes (nossir) don't we? You cannot make a legitimate claim that EVERYONE in the member states of the Confederate States of America is racist. The evidence for that is not there. As to the CSA and the Civil War, there were MORE reasons that just slavery that led to the commencement of the Civil War. If you did your research you would have known that now wouldn't you?

amerigirl

It's an opinion, personally I believe the entire organization is racist.

Voltaire

AG--OK. I know that you and I have made multiple arguments over this topic.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
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