Del. Black Responds

Recently, there have been a number of comments by Democrats in local papers concerning the placement of a statue of Abraham Lincoln in front of Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond.

The issue arose when a company interested in selling $795 replicas of a Lincoln statue decided to boost sales by placing it at the Tredegar to create controversy. A company in New York was hired to generate additional publicity.

The iron works is a museum once used to make 11,000 Confederate cannons during the Civil War. Since Lincoln played no role in the production of these cannons, the statue seems out of place.

Virginia law prevents placement of Union and Confederate monuments at the same site to prevent sparking this kind of controversy. I considered asking the attorney general's office to write an opinion on this issue to see whether placement of the statue at this particular location would conflict with this law.

It was determined that there would be no conflict since a private company owns Tredegar. In light of this information, I felt that the matter was laid to rest and that the statue would eventually be put in place.

Unfortunately, local Democrats have worked to use this issue as an opportunity to try and inflame the public and sow racial division.

Reasonable people can disagree whether this particular site is an appropriate place for a statue of Lincoln, but to try and turn this situation into a racial issue displays a callousness by certain members of the Democratic Party and demonstrates just how low some people will sink to attempt to score partisan political points.

It's an election year, folks, and I'm sure we'll continue to see more of these mean-spirited, divisive attacks as we get closer to November.

Del. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun)

32nd District

Towe on Black

I am bound by good conscience to speak about an embarrassment to us here in Loudoun County. A delegate representing eastern Loudoun County in the General Assembly has chosen to insinuate himself into a discussion of whether a statue of President Abraham Lincoln should be placed at the historic Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond.

The delegate is reported to have said that a statue of Lincoln should not be erected anywhere in the state of Virginia!

Del. Richard H. Black (Loudoun), who belongs to the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, has his eyes on a prize -- the position of attorney general of Virginia -- and he wishes to garner votes down in the capital of Virginia.

Black has become an outspoken force for dissension and controversy. A leader should be working toward understanding and healing of old wounds and bringing people together. Listen to these words spoken by Lincoln in March 1865:

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan -- to do all which may achieve a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

Lincoln was a leader, a man to be honored through the ages.

I am troubled, as I am sure many citizens, Democrats, independents and Republicans are, by Black's behavior. I suspect there is a darker side to the debate.

We have come too far in this country to turn back to the inequities of the past. It is time for good and ethical people to speak out against public officials whose words and deeds are unacceptable and abhorrent.

There should not be a single place in this United States where a statue of Lincoln and his words of wisdom are not welcome.

Eleanore C. Towe (D-Blue Ridge)

Vice Chairman

Board of Supervisors