FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — On Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board motioned to remove three civil war monuments, including the John Marr Monument.
In 1904 the monument was unveiled in front of the old Fairfax County Courthouse to honor the death of the first Confederate soldier, John Quincy Marr. In 1910, two cannons were placed next to it. Today, they are being removed.
Over 100 speakers showed up to participate in the hearing last night, all in support of the monuments remaining.
“I’m here to strongly recommend to Fairfax county that they continue to keep and maintain the John Marr monument and all the other civil war markers, plaques and other notable signage throughout Fairfax County,” said Dan Hakenson.
Dan Hakenson is a Fairfax County native and veteran, also author of nine Civil War books, he urged the county to keep the monuments stating that standing at a historical site is inspirational.
Others pointed to the cost of removal.
“The monument is large and we’ve heard that it will take a fair amount of money to remove, store and move it to another location, and fund its possible replacement if that is the boards’ decision. That money will come from all of us, the taxpayers” said Virginia Norton.
Supervisor Pat Herrity agreed with most speakers, “It doesn’t meet my threshold to spend taxpayer dollars to remove it.”
Another speaker brought up the issues the county currently faces, including the new gun ordinance and virtual education, “and I know we have 80 something speakers for our rights being taken away in the next session, that’s what’s important, leave us alone, educate our kids,” stated Brendan Brown.
Supervisor Dalia Palchik said this is not a matter of erasing history but that we need monuments to represent who we are today.
“They do not reflect our community’s values. Today our values include a declaration that all residents deserve an equitable opportunity to succeed… Our monuments should exemplify this commitment to our county’s diversity and belief in opportunity,” said Palchik.
In the motion, Supervisor Pat Herrity was the only board member to vote against the statue’s removal. As of now, the monument and cannons will be moved to a county storage facility.