I am writing to applaud the decision of the Louisburg Town Council to move the Confederate statue to the Oakwood Cemetery, which I've been following from afar.
While I don't live in Franklin County, I've spent a lot of time in Franklin County. Both of my parents were born and raised in Franklin County and their lines go back to the 1700s, before Franklin County was even called Franklin County.
As an adult, I've studied the history of my family, all of whom fought for the Confederacy, including multiple casualties: my great-great-grandfather James Martin Dickerson (wounded at Gettysburg), great-great-grandfather James Dallas Pearce (wounded at Cold Harbor, VA), and 4th-great uncle Solomon Pearce (killed at Sharpsburg/Antietam). Solomon's father Nathan -- my 4th-great-grandfather who shares my grandfather's name -- owned slaves.
While they may have believed they were fighting for a just cause at the time, everything we know today shows that the cause was wrong. More importantly, the symbols that revere a time that is now in the distant past are making it harder than ever to move forward into the future.
As we grow up, our understanding changes as we spend more time in the world. Growing up in North Carolina, I loved the Confederate flag and kept a Confederate Army hat in my room.
I never thought about what the Confederate cause and its symbols might mean to others. But I grew up and learned the hurt that those symbols represented to people I cared about, and I put them away for good.
As the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:11: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
In a similar spirit, it is time for Louisburg and Franklin County to move forward by putting this monument in its rightful place. It is time to face the future together, not dwell on a divisive past.
It is notable to me that the plan to move the monument adopted by the town council closely mirrors the one proposed by Will Hinton just two years ago. We owe Will Hinton our gratitude for having the vision, integrity, and love for the community to raise difficult questions two years ago and for risking his reputation by taking an unpopular position and speaking out about it.
History is filled with people who did the right thing at great cost to themselves while alive, only to be recognized only after death as right. I believe Will Hinton should be celebrated today. As a tribute to his vision, I would like to offer the Town of Louisburg $10,000 towards moving the monument to its rightful place.
I know many in my family there in Franklin County will not agree with me. Doing what is right doesn't always create harmony. Ultimately, I believe we honor the memories of our ancestors by doing what is right today.
It is time to replace the divisive symbols of yesterday with symbols of unity. Thank you, Will Hinton, for your courage and to the members of the Louisburg Town Council who cast the right vote.