RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Crews in North Carolina have finished removing the final pieces of a 75-foot-tall (23-meter-tall) Confederate monument that sat near the grounds of the state Capitol for 125 years.
The granite pillar that had supported a statue of a Confederate soldier was pulled from its base in Raleigh to cheers from a crowd of onlookers late Tuesday night, news outlets reported.
On Friday, protesters pulled down the statues of two Confederate soldiers that were secured on a lower part of the obelisk, before dragging the figures down the street and stringing one up by its neck from a light post. One day later, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper ordered the rest of the monument to be removed, along with two other nearby Confederate memorials, citing public safety.
Crews worked for three days to disassemble the structure, bringing in cranes, towing straps and metal rods to dismantle it piece by piece.
Photos showed the stone base displaying the dedication “To Our Confederate Dead” being hoisted into the air, with the initials “BLM,” for Black Lives Matter, and the words “No Justice” scrawled across it. Just the stone steps were left late Tuesday.
Kenny Lee, a Black man who grew up in North Carolina, was quoted by The News & Observer as saying that watching the monument come down was like “witnessing a new history.”
“Some would say that you’re erasing history and getting rid of history and so forth,” he said. “But we’re just creating a new future.”