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I participated in a National Day of Prayer event where elected officials, pastors and residents gathered on the courthouse steps. Just a stone's throw from us stood a statue of a Confederate soldier. To me, it was an expression of the area's local history as they recognized many of their native sons who fought and died in the Civil War. But how was it viewed by the black ladies on the platform next to me? This isn't a call to dismantle our monuments. It's a call to empathy for those descended from slavery and injustice. They're part of our history. But its an incomplete history when our public squares fail to include monuments depicting civil rights icons, black inventors, black athletes, and statesmen who've since added to our historic mosaic by making great contributions to humanity.

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center