Wallaces send follow-up letter to supervisors

Published 11:39 am Thursday, July 9, 2020

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In advance of Thursday night’s Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors meeting, Rev. Wiley Wallace and his wife Carole Wallace sent a second letter to the supervisors detailing reasons they believe the Confederate statue should be removed from the Lunenburg County Courthouse lawn.

The Wallaces raised the issue of the statue a month ago by sending a letter to the board asking that the statue be removed. A board discussion has been placed on the agenda of the 6 p.m. Thursday meeting.

A new Virginia law that went into effect July 1, sets out several steps localities must go through before removing a Civil War statue. The steps include a public hearing and allows the board to call for a referendum on the subject.

Unlike what happened a few weeks ago in Farmville, the board will not legally be able to vote to remove the statue and have it immediately take away, according to the new state law.

In the second letter to the board, the Wallaces said they would not attend Thursday’s meeting due to COVID-19 concerns, so they presented follow-up arguments for the removal of the statue.

“Now is our time in history to rise to our challenges,” the letter to the board from the Wallaces read. “Our county does not need symbols of division and inequality in front of our courthouse where justice is served for all. Every day is ours to write our future. If part of our community feels slighted or diminished by this statue and what it represents, the issue needs to be bravely faced. We are one nation, one body, and when one part of us hurts, credence needs to be given. We can heal this hurt and lift each other up.”

The second letter also attempts to answer questions raised by the first letter of who would pay for the statue’s removal and where should be relocated to. The letter from the Wallaces makes the point that the county placed the statue there in 1968 and should be responsible for paying to have it removed.

“We say it would be money well spent and well invested to heighten the inclusiveness of all in our county for generations to come,” the letter reads.

As for where the statue should go if it is removed from the courthouse lawn, the letter suggests nearby Civil War museums or placing the statue in storage.

The full letter to the board from the Wallaces can be found on the Opinion page on Page 6.

The board of supervisors meeting at the courthouse will adhere to social distances standards. Masks should be worn if possible. Seating will be limited.