Free World - September 15, 2021

In the final moments, @jrossgram writes, there were cheers. On Sept. 8 in Richmo…

In the final moments, @jrossgram writes, there were cheers. On Sept. 8 in Richmond, Va., as a crane dislodged the 12-ton statue of Robert E. Lee, Confederate general and icon of a much mythologized chapter of U.S. history—a period defined by treason and bloodshed but often described in more flowery and misleading terms—the crowd chanted in a way usually reserved for sporting events. Removing the 60-ft.-tall Lee monument from the carefully manicured parkway known in this city as Monument Avenue marked the final, and some say most substantial, change to Richmond’s landscape in more than a century. The elimination of one of the largest and arguably grandest monuments to a Confederate military or political leader in the United States, a statue that had stood in the former capital of the Confederacy for 131 years, was an event most experts and at least one observer described as symbolically significant. But, they also characterized it as a gesture that can only be given lasting substance by what happens next. Read more at the link in bio. In these photographs: the statue is lowered from its plinth; a nearby crowd watches the process; and Devon Henry, owner of the construction company that removed the statue, hugs his mother, Freda Thornton, afterward. Photographs by @amr.alfiky—Pool/@natgeo/@gettyimages


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