Letter: Asheville’s 21st-century monument

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding “The Bigger Picture: Local Historians Reflect on the Vance Monument, One Year After Its Removal,” May 25, Xpress:]

“Building an America as good as its ideals.” — from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

I think the monument should celebrate protest. While it would have statues representing major movements of the 21st century, it should have obvious spots for future statues. (This might become a favorite photo spot, with people holding their own signs.) We are still building.

The statues I’d suggest are:
• Iraq war.
• Marriage equality — two statues, same sex.
• Animal rights — holding a “Go vegan” sign.
• Women — wearing a pussy hat and holding a “Grab them by the ballot box” sign.
• Climate change.
• Black Lives Matter.

I’d have them grouped as though they were all at the same protest, because in a sense they are, with the “Building an America as good its ideals” quote on a wall.

The Urban Trail information could note why the pigs and turkeys statues were there, and that today people protest the eating of animals.

The Urban Trail information could note the Vance Monument once stood there and that today people protest what the monument celebrated.

We aren’t canceling the past, just not celebrating it. We are celebrating building a better future.

— Lynda Cozart


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3 thoughts on “Letter: Asheville’s 21st-century monument

  1. Voirdire

    A hologram of the Vance Monument without comment might work. Okay, well… along with more than sufficient interpretative signage for the uninformed -and unformed- of course. Just a though, sigh. Well, anything other than the above foolishness/ lunacy that passes for coherency these days. Sigh again.

    • Voirdire

      And just a thought here… how about a monument to honor the hundreds of impressed -enslaved for all intents and purposes- African American “convicts” who died while being forced to construct the first railroad line up the Swannanoa grade to Asheville… which finally connected the Land of the Sky to the rest of the nation basically. I know… I know…. that was so very long ago and who really cares about them now? sigh.

  2. Robert McGee

    Two Questions:
    Why do we need monuments at all?
    How about more gardens, benches, flowers, and trees?

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