Those recommendations include promoting various cultural and historical resources throughout the community and establishing March 3 as “Liberation Day” or “Freedom Day” in recognition of the Union army’s entrance into the city in 1865.
I have refrained from sharing my own views about what communities should do with their monuments because I believe it is up to the people directly impacted.
These are local decisions, but having lived and taught in Charlottesville for ten years I don’t mind sharing that I agree with the commission’s decision. I tend to think that a commemorative landscape should reflect a community’s past and I prefer a little tension between different sites, if only to engage people around the tough questions and a little reflection.
This may not work for every community, but I believe that Charlottesville can set the example by thinking creatively about how to leverage existing and potentially new commemorative sites to promote a shared narrative and raise important questions about our shared history.