Hundreds of people flock to Robert E. Lee statue to take pictures

Charlottesville mayor calls to have statue removed.

By Magdala Louissaint - Lynchburg Bureau Reporter

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va - The Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville attracted more people than usual on Friday.

 "So we're just kind of thinking about what these monuments mean in a bigger context maybe than before. I've frankly kind of ignored them almost," said Jennifer Deal, a Charlottesville resident.

One after another, people are capturing what could be the last days the Lee statue stands in Emancipation Park.  "We're traveling through and we want to try to get pictures with them before that happens," said Douglas Grego, from New York.

For those who live in Charlottesville, it's more than just having a photo as a keepsake. "I just like history. I've always enjoyed it, and I figure one way or the other we're making history. And I've got the camera I thought I'd capture it," Henry Martin said. 

Others believe last weekend's deadly protest to take down the statue has attracted those who idolize it in the wrong way. 

"I feel like they've become symbols for people who are of the mindset of white supremacy, and I think for that reason they can not stay," said Cheryl Petencin, Charlottesville resident.

Whether the Lee monument comes down or not, those who have to live in Charlottesville say they are forever left with the tragic impact that their community is left to clean up.

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