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Governor Northam supports court ruling on removing Lee Monument

Robert E. Lee Monument on Monument Avenue in Richmond.
Robert E. Lee Monument on Monument Avenue in Richmond.((Source: NBC12))
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 10:58 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Governor Ralph Northam supports the Virginia Supreme Court ruling that affirms the Commonwealth’s authority to remove the Robert E. Lee Monument in Richmond.

The court ruled Thursday in Taylor v. Northam and Gregory v. Northam, clearing the way for Virginia to remove the statue, the largest confederate monument in the South.

Northam’s statement reads:

“Today’s ruling is a tremendous win for the people of Virginia. Our public memorials are symbols of who we are and what we value. When we honor leaders who fought to preserve a system that enslaved human beings, we are honoring a lost cause that has burdened Virginia for too many years.

“I am grateful to Attorney General Mark Herring, my former counsel Rita Davis, and all those who worked so hard for this victory. This ruling is an important step towards moving the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Richmond forward into a more inclusive, just future.

“Today it is clearthe largest Confederate monument in the South is coming down.”

The ruling allows the Department of General Services to carry out its removal plan. Northam says the process is “complicated by several logistical and security concerns, including street closures and the equipment required to ensure the safe removal of the 12-ton statue.”

The removal of the statue will be a multi-day process that likely won’t start this week.

The Department of General Services released this statement:

“Following the court’s decision, we are moving swiftly to remove the Robert E. Lee statue as directed by Governor Northam. This is an extremely complex removal that requires coordination with multiple entities to ensure the safety of everyone involved. A date for the removal, as well as ways in which the public can view it, will be announced at a later date. Please follow the Joint Information Center on Twitter and Facebook at @VAMonument2021 for more information as it becomes available.”

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