Charlottesville City Council Votes to Remove Statue of 'Stonewall' Jackson

Robert E. Lee Statue Covered in Charlottesville

The Dallas City Council on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to immediately remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, joining a growing list of cities that have chose to do away with Civil War-era monuments, according to a local news outlet.

The Memphis City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to sponsor an ordinance that allows the statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest in Health Sciences Park and Jefferson Davis in Memphis Park, as well as any related artifacts to be immediately removed from the City, even if the Tennessee Historical Commission denies the city's waiver request in October.

The idea of removing Confederate symbols from the religious center came up two years ago, after the mass shooting of black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C. The building is officially the property of the Episcopal Church, a Protestant denomination that has counted several presidents, including George H.W. Bush, among its members. However, in light of recent controversies over Confederate monuments, particularly in the aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the fate of those monuments, the board that manages the Cathedral made the decision to remove the windows. It is the second largest church building in the country and is typically host to official events like presidential funerals and official interfaith ceremonies on presidential swearing-in days, including that of President Donald Trump.

On Wednesday as the scaffolding was put up, some tourists began gathering, including a few who seemed concerned by the idea that the windows were being taken out. They each have four panels, one honoring the life of Jackson and the other Lee. They show the men at various points in their academic, military and spiritual lives.

At the time, as NPR's Camila Domonoske reported, the church planned to hold "a period of public discussion on issues of race, slavery and justice and revisit the question of how to treat other depictions of the Civil War on the windows". "So this argument that we have to keep it to preserve history, to me, is irrelevant".

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