Crews remove Soldiers and Sailors monument in Richmond

Updated: Jul. 8, 2020 at 12:39 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - City crews have removed the Soldiers and Sailors monument located on Libby Hill in Richmond.

Another Confederate statue is off its pedestal in the City of Richmond.

Wednesday, contract crews surrounded the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument and removed it within a few hours.

A crowd watched from the grass in Libby Hill Park and cheered as the statue came down.

In that crowd, Andrew Grigsby and his two sons.

"When I was a young boy my grandmother would bring us down here and point out the statue with some pride and note that her father, my great-grandfather had helped raise money for this," said Grigsby who supports monument removal.

But on this day, Grigsby is teaching 3-year-old Ford and 5-year-old Lloyd a more accurate story about why the monument was put there and why they watched it come down.

“It’s fantastic,” said Grigsby. “This has been building for a while but that personal connection for me is something that you know I made sure my boys could see it.”

Crews are preparing to remove the Soldiers and Sailors monument located in Libby Hill.
Crews are preparing to remove the Soldiers and Sailors monument located in Libby Hill.(Marc Redmond)

The monument was unveiled on May 30, 1894, and was modeled after Pompey’s Pillar in Alexandria, Egypt.

The 100-foot-tall granite tower is made up of 13 blocks representing each state of the Confederacy.

The statue is a bronze figure of a non-specific private soldier from the Confederate Army. It cost $30,000, with $3,200 of it came from the General Assembly.

A statue of Gen. J.E.B. Stuart was taken down by crews on Tuesday. Four others came down last week.

Mayor Levar Stoney ordered the removal of all city-owned Confederate statues amid the national protests against police brutality and symbols many see as racist icons. The biggest monument still standing in the capital of the Confederacy is a huge statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

REWATCH the removal process here:

WATCH LIVE: Crews remove the Sailor and Soldiers monument in Libby Hill

BREAKING NEWS: Crews removing Soldiers and Sailors monument in Richmond >> https://bit.ly/38AoLMc

Posted by NBC12 on Wednesday, July 8, 2020

“I feel a sense of renewal,” said Richmond resident Robert Liverman. “The world is waiting for a change in the sense of freedom and these statues just remind us of slave mentality.”

The contractor was back on Monument Avenue Wednesday as well to remove an additional statue and plaques from what’s left of the Jefferson Davis monument.

It’s an important history lesson Grigsby says is far from over for his children.

"This is a fight everybody should be behind. It's about justice. It is plain and simple," said Grigsby.

Removal work is done for the day. More activity is expected Thursday with the promise all 11 will be gone by the end of the week.

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