Monuments’ meaning should determine their status

The good news about this summer’s protests is that they’ve forced us to confront our history more squarely — not merely the mythologized version most of us received.

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Columnists

July 8, 2020 - 9:40 AM

A statue of Stonewall Jackson, a Confederate general, on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va.

WASHINGTON — At Gettysburg, where the bloodiest and most decisive battle of the Civil War occurred, no fewer than 1,320 monuments are scattered across the rolling Pennsylvania landscape. Some memorialize Union generals and their men; others remember Confederates.

One is especially poignant: the Maryland monument, which lists both Union and Confederate units from one divided state. It depicts two wounded men, one from each army, propping each other up.

There’s a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, surveying the battlefield on horseback, and another of the Union commander, Gen. George G. Meade.

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