VMI Will Keep Stonewall Jackson Statue

September 13, 2017

Picture of Stonewall Jackson statue at Virginia Military Institute, behind a line of red cannons.Virginia Military Institute will keep up its statue of Stonewall Jackson, the Confederate general. VMI issued a joint statement from John William Boland, its board chair and General J. H. Binford Peay III, its superintendent, that did not name Jackson or use the word "Confederate."

"We will continue to learn from our history, yet be ultimately guided by our best judgment in how to achieve our mission," said the statement. "That is why, today, the VMI Board of Visitors endorses continuing to acknowledge all those who are part of the history of the Institute. We choose not to honor their weaknesses, but to recognize their strengths. We will continue to learn and not to repeat divisions. We strongly encourage all to move forward together in the defense and advancement of our nation."

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that VMI officials said they might add more context to the Jackson monument. Some said VMI might add a plaque honoring its alumni who fought for the United States in the Civil War. VMI has abandoned other traditions with Confederate roots, such as singing "Dixie" and having cadets salute the Jackson statue, officials noted.

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