Down Comes the Pedestal

From the latest edition of The Blunderbuss:

The last remaining section of a once towering statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee is being removed from Richmond’s Monument Avenue today. No word yet on what will replace the graffiti-covered pedestal in the grassy circle. The state is transferring that land back to the City of Richmond to decide its fate.

In September, Gov. Ralph Northam had declared the 40-foot base of the Confederate general’s statue would remain until efforts to reimagine Monument Avenue were complete. For whatever reason, the governor has changed his mind. Perhaps the memory of the city’s over-promised and under-delivered plans to improve Richmond’s 17th Street Farmers Market is still too vivid. Maybe he wants no part of the blame should the pedestal and the circle become untended eyesores while the city argues over what should be placed there — understandable for someone already leaving office with a tarnished legacy.

Whatever the reason, it’s for the best that the expletive-adorned base comes down. Richmonders can at least enjoy an open space as they begin to put this sad saga behind them. And whatever one’s opinion of Robert E. Lee, I’m sure the old soldier is just happy it’s over.

— Robin Beres