This is in response to the letter to the editor, dated Jan. 4, from Maryel Barry about the despair of seeing the wreath that was placed on the Appomattox Statue of the Confederate Soldier on Prince and South Washington Street during the holidays. Ms. Barry states: “This uniform honors slavery.” Does she know the history of this statue? Does she know why the statue was erected? Perhaps she should talk with her daughter about the suffering all residents of Alexandria went through during the War of the States, including not only the men, but also the wives and their children. Apparently many do not understand that this war was not only about slavery.
What better person to know than my grandmother who was born in Alexandria, and still living at age 103. She was a resident of Alexandria for 97 years, and is a retired member of the Alexandria Fire Department. She is quick to tell you including the mayor that her grandfather was a Confederate soldier who fought for his state, not for slavery. He was one of many men who met at this exact location of Appomattox as they marched out of their beloved city. Because he chose to fight for his beloved state, he fought against brothers, one brother who never spoke to him again.
So many folks seem to forget that there were men who chose to fight alongside General Lee to protect their state values and principles. I would remind so many that these men suffered too. I would challenge all of you who are bothered by Appomattox to find out the reasons behind the statue. You would get a much needed history lesson.
Former resident of Alexandria