Letter: Leave ‘Fame’ where it is, work on real problems
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 11, 2019
I would like to say that I’m 100% for leaving the “Fame” statue where it is (Sunday letter, “Poverty offends me, not ‘Fame’ monument”).
I have always thought and referred to the statue as “the Angel Statue.” Being educated at North Rowan High School and the University of North Carolina, I was friends with people of many different races and economic classes. Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wished, “We judge others not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
I have always thought of the statue as an angel holding up an injured soldier, and it reminds me that during the worst of times, no matter the circumstance, that the Lord is there holding us up and he loves us, no matter what.
I don’t condone slavery or discrimination for any person and don’t link the statue with racist attitudes. I never heard that “Fame,” aka the “Angel Statue,” was an issue the last few months when this is the latest “hot topic” that complainers are jumping on. I also want to remind protesters, “The Civil War is over.” Leave history alone. We had people here who fought and died in the Civil War. That’s a fact. We had a Confederate prison here; we have a street named after Gov. John Ellis.
To those who merely see the statue as a tribute to the Confederate soldiers, I say I’m not ashamed of my North Carolina ancestors who fought, were injured or died for their homeland (not for slavery) in the Civil War. Many were drafted through conscription. If they didn’t go, they would have been traitors.
Maybe, we, who are from here (I’m a Tar Heel born and bred) think differently about the Angel Statue than people who have moved here from other areas of the country, but it’s personal. We should honor all veterans of all wars, not just those who fought in recent ones or popular wars. We should be able to do that in public places and not feel shunned.
I wish the anti-“Fame” groups and leaders making this an issue would devote time on other things, like helping to end drive-by shootings in Salisbury, eradicating opioid abuse, keeping businesses in uptown locations, helping our youths so they have a better future and aren’t caught in low-paying jobs, join gangs, or end up in prison.
How about stopping all the littering and instilling in our own people the belief that we can always do better?
I work out of town and in my office, there are people who live in Hickory, Mooresville and Statesville, and they see and hear bad things about Salisbury on TV frequently and think the worst about our town. We need to work to get Salisbury and Rowan County out of the bad stories on the news. Moving “Fame” to a cemetery or a museum or taking it down isn’t going to solve any of those problems. Be real.
Leave the statue where it is. It’s comforting to know someone is holding us up. It’s a part of our identity. We are historic Salisbury.
— Lora Owen