My Turn, Jeanne Lane Miller: Salisbury caved to cancel culture

Published 11:59 pm Saturday, January 9, 2021

By Jeanne Lane Miller

I read in the Salisbury Post’s Dec. 31 paper with great sadness the article on the Confederate monument’s being the story of the year.

I grew up in Salisbury and went off to college 50 years ago. My grandfather ran a street car on North Main Street until World War I. He joined the Army in April of 1918 and had his picture made with the other new recruits in front of the angel monument holding the soldier.

That picture is published every few years in the Post around Veterans Day. He was proud. He was a member of the Harold B. Jarrett Veterans Post from 1919 to 1984. I donated the picture to the Rowan Museum.

My husband’s aunt was born in Salisbury on Bank Street near the bridge. She recorded in her diary how as a child her class collected copper pennies to contribute to the building of the monument. She was so proud of helping to build the angel monument. She remarked how on Sundays she came out of St. John’s Lutheran Church and saw the death angel holding the soldier to take up to heaven. She was a member of the DAR from 1919 til her death at 103.

Everyone was proud of the angel monument. It made Salisbury unique. It was beautiful. But now Salisbury has caved to the cancel culture. Who knew? Where is your mind if you only see the monument as racist or a white nationalist icon? Have people from other parts of the country moved into Salisbury and brought their liberal ideas and don’t understand that we love the meaningful parts of our city’s heritage? Why do you see things through racist glasses and we see only history?

Will the National Cemetery off South Main be next? Are you going to topple over the Confederate soldiers’ tombstones?

Will you remove Civil War items in the Rowan Museum? Maybe removing crosses on the steeples of churches will be next. At least we don’t have to worry about US history or local history being taught in the schools anymore. That almost stopped when I was in school. We barely made it to WWI.

What kind of name is “Fame Preservation Group?” Go ahead and hide the monument for now and then put it in some cemetery where no one ever goes for fear of being attacked. The logical resting place would be the National Cemetery, but then that would make too much sense.

I am disappointed in you, Salisbury, and your leaders. You have caved to the cancel culture.

Jeanne Lane Miller lives in Red Springs, in Robeson County, and is originally from Salisbury.