Virginians will soon have opportunities to voice their views on who the state should honor with a statue at the U.S. Capitol to replace that of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The Commission for Historical Statues in the U.S. Capitol will meet remotely Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
At the session, the panel will discuss a process for selecting a statue to replace Virginia’s statue of Lee in the Statuary Hall Collection.
Legislation establishing the panel says it must hold at least one public hearing before making a recommendation to the General Assembly about whom to honor on such a statue.
Thursday’s meeting is not the public hearing, which could also come next month. But the public may comment during Thursday’s meeting as well.
Anyone who wants to speak at Thursday’s virtual meeting must register by noon Wednesday at www.dhr.virginia.gov/uscapitolcommission.
People can also submit written comments by Wednesday at noon to USCapitolCommission@dhr.virginia.gov.
On July 24, the panel, which the General Assembly created this year, voted to take down the Lee statue and replace it with a to-be-determined Virginian.
In August, the Virginia Museum of History & Culture in Richmond announced it had agreed to take ownership of the statue at the commission’s urging.
Each state contributes two statues to the Statuary Hall collection at the U.S. Capitol. Virginia’s other statue in the collection depicts George Washington.
Among many names Virginians have submitted so far as potential replacements is that of Barbara Johns, the schoolgirl who led the walkout at Farmville’s Moton High School in 1951 to protest the students’ substandard segregated school facilities.
The Farmville case became part of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court case that found officially segregated public schools unconstitutional.
Other noted Virginians suggested for the statue range from James Madison and educator Booker T. Washington to civil rights attorney Oliver Hill and George C. Marshall, architect of the Marshall Plan to aid Europe after World War II.
Get Government & Politics updates in your inbox!
Stay up-to-date on the latest in local and national government and political topics with our newsletter.