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TheSignalCorpsGuy
01-05-2007, 11:03 AM
Just read this in the local newspaper and figured I'd post it here.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/S/SOU_CONFEDERATE_STATUE_VAOL-?SITE=VANOV&SECTION=STATE


Jan 5, 10:23 AM EST


Virginia monument gets its Confederate soldier
By DEBBIE MESSINA
The Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- The Confederate Monument was naked for almost a century.

Originally installed in the Berkley neighborhood in 1912, the 13-foot-tall granite pedestal, flanked by four stone cannonballs, was supposed to be topped with a statue of a soldier. But the now-defunct chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy that commissioned it ran out of money.

That's always bothered Alma Lewis, who counts 10 Confederate veterans among her ancestors. She is a member of the Pickett-Buchanan chapter of the United Daughters, which assumed responsibility for the statue in 1987, when it was moved to Elmwood Cemetery to make way for a new road.

In early January, as a crane gently placed the likeness of a Confederate soldier atop the pedestal, Lewis watched with satisfaction. "Johnny Reb has finally come home," she said.

The bearded soldier stands 6 feet tall and stern, clutching a musket. He towers over about 800 graves of fallen Confederate fighters in Elmwood and nearby Cedar Grove Cemetery.

"He completes it," Lewis said. "He doesn't look sad, does he? I think he looks happy to be home."

While the United Daughters faced no opposition, other Confederate symbols have sparked controversy in the city. In 1988, the City Council removed a Confederate battle flag from its chambers after the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said that it was offensive to blacks.

Since taking on the task of raising $5,000 to finish the monument almost a year ago, Lewis has only been met with support. The group gained approvals from the city cemeteries division for the work. The city is not aware of any opposition, said Stanley Stein, an assistant city manager.
"The war is over," Lewis said. "We're not fighting anybody. We're honoring our ancestors."

Lewis noted that there are Union graves nearby as well as a statue of a Union soldier. That's Sgt. William Carney, the first black recipient of the Medal of Honor, who was portrayed by actor Denzel Washington in the 1989 movie "Glory."

"Both sides are out there; we don't hold it against them," she said.
The United Daughters gathered donations from community members and businesses. The bulk of the money was raised at a ball, "Magnolias and Memories" held in September, complete with hoop-skirted belles and Confederate re-enactors.

With money in hand, Lewis and the chapter's past president, Mary Williams, selected a design out of a book of Confederate statues.
Susan Jaworski, manager of the Norfolk Monument Co., then had a local leader of the Sons of Confederate Veterans visit her office in his reproduction uniform "to get the details right."

Artists carved him from a hunk of granite from a quarry in China, and the 1,000-pound statue was shipped to Norfolk.

Jaworski said her company has ordered many angel statues, but this was her first soldier. Her work has taken her to Elmwood many times and she often had wondered what the incomplete monument was and why there wasn't anything on top.

Thanks to the granddaughters, great-granddaughters and great-great-granddaughters of Confederate soldiers, it's now clear.

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The Virginian-Pilot is published in Norfolk, Va.
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Jim Mayo
01-05-2007, 01:07 PM
One of the local TV stations is trying to stir up some controversy over placement of the monument by advertising a poll on their web site. So far seems like the population is more tolerant than the TV folks think they are.

Nuttman
01-30-2007, 10:28 PM
Anyone from that area able to post a picture of said REB, or anyone have
access to a picture from local news or magazine to post. I have been
down Monument Alley in Richmond and it's quite a sight. Thanks.

Spare_Man
01-31-2007, 08:36 AM
Anyone from that area able to post a picture of said REB, or anyone have
access to a picture from local news or magazine to post. I have been
down Monument Alley in Richmond and it's quite a sight. Thanks.

Try this link: http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=117050&ran=152759