Controversy over monuments

Civil War monuments are basically meant to connect people back to the Civil War era, and help the younger generations cultivate critical thinking skills toward society and politics, by seeing the past in ways that will inform them of how to act in society today. In Virginia there has been a widespread amount of controversy for many years now over whether certain Confederate statues and landmarks should be taken down. The argument for taking down these historical Civil War statues and landmarks are that they are to disrespectful to African Americans, which symbolize a time a for when African Americans were slaves to white people. Like the one in Richmond of 1999, were a city official took down the monument of a Confederate General Robert E. Lee were he was built dressed in his confederate uniform which was seen as inappropriate to let stay there. 

Another Civil War monument which has sparked a lot of controversy is not a statue, but a couple of nineteenth century cemeteries in Norfolk, Virginia. The cemeteries are called Elmwood and West point cemetery which each hold the final resting places of many Civil War soldiers. At Elmwood cemetery it was mainly only for white confederate soldiers with a fairly recent addition of a confederate soldier statue added in. At West Point cemetery it was mainly for African American union soldiers with a black union soldier statue. These two cemetery’s and statues spark much controversy and discussion over many things like how the black union soldier was only put in back when the west point cemetery was being built in twentieth century. While the white confederate soldier statue was added in during the twenty first century, and this leads into the exploration into how race and power play in the role of memory and heritage with the building and response towards the issues of racial discrimination on these Civil War landmarks.

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