Reader de­cries top­pling of First Vir­ginia statue

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - OPINIONS -

EDI­TOR, TIMES-DIS­PATCH:

The de­struc­tion of the First Vir­ginia Reg­i­ment Mon­u­ment in Meadow Park is ap­palling. The 276th En­gi­neer Bat­tal­ion of the Vir­ginia Army Na­tional Guard traces its lineage back to the Rich­mond City Reg­i­ment, or­ga­nized in Rich­mond from ex­ist­ing ele­ments in the Vir­ginia Mili­tia. This bat­tal­ion holds the U.S. Army Spe­cial Unit Des­ig­na­tion “First Vir­ginia.”

This mon­u­ment al­ways has held a spe­cial place for our fam­ily and for many sol­diers re­turn­ing from com­bat. From 2004 to 2008, six sol­diers from the 276th “First Vir­ginia” gave their lives for their state and their coun­try in Iraq.

The mon­u­ment, both in form and in­scrip­tion, rec­og­nizes the sac­ri­fice of all the sol­diers of the “First Vir­ginia,” which was cre­ated in 1754. Put up around the same time as the Con­fed­er­ate mon­u­ments, the statue clearly de­picts a preRevo­lu­tion­ary mili­tia­man. The in­scrip­tion on the statue’s pedestal reads:

“Erected to the im­per­ish­able mem­ory of the valiant fallen of the First Reg­i­ment of Vir­ginia In­fantry who through seven Amer­i­can wars en­dured hard­ships with pa­tience, met de­feat with con­stant courage, did not vaunt their vic­to­ries and stead­fastly kept the faith with God and their coun­try.”

This mon­u­ment rep­re­sents a mil­i­tary unit that has fought for our free­doms since be­fore the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War. One of these free­doms is the right to peace­ful protest — not de­struc­tion.

Less one for­gets the cost of this free­dom, visit the Vir­ginia War Me­mo­rial and read the names of those who gave the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice for our free­doms. You will be moved.

Please re­store and re­place the mon­u­ment to honor the First Vir­ginia.

about build­ing bridges and im­prov­ing lives. It ap­pears some have taken this move­ment as an op­por­tu­nity to per­pe­trate wide­spread vi­o­lent de­struc­tion — from loot­ing to tear­ing down mon­u­ments hon­or­ing Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War heroes. Un­for­tu­nately, this be­hav­ior di­lutes the BLM move­ment’s mes­sage and causes many of us look­ing from the out­side in to won­der about the true mo­ti­va­tion of some pro­test­ers.

It’s past time to take back our city. Will Rich­mond be­come the next Philadel­phia, Bal­ti­more, Chicago or Detroit?

It’s well on the way.

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