lee highway 4.jpg

Route 29, also known as Lee Highway in Northern Virginia.

Whether several highways in Fairfax County named for Confederate leaders will be changed is still up in the air.

The Confederate Names Task Force was formed in July, and could recommend, by the end of the year, whether to change the names of Lee Highway (Route 290 and Lee Jackson Memorial Highway (Route 50.)

Brent Tarter, a former senior editor at the Library of Virginia, spoke to the task force Monday night. He talked about how Virginia’s past may have led to giving the roadways what are now very controversial names.

He noted how things have changed in the state.

“Virginia right now is a more diverse state than it’s ever been in its history, and of all the diverse neighborhoods in Virginia, none is more diverse than Fairfax County.” Tarter said

Task force member Bunyan Bryant pointed out that the decisions the task force makes will help create the narrative about the county in the future.

“We want to have a narrative that’s inclusive,” Bryant said.

Task force member Barbara Glakas agreed with some other members that changing a road name will not erase Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from history, but much needs to be considered around raising up such controversial figures with plaques, statues and roads named after them.

“There’s a difference between studying, learning and knowing a character, but glorifying and revering them is a different thing,” Glakas said.

However, when asked to sum up the name-changing process using one word, the members’ responses ranged from disjointed to optimistic.

There may be public hearings on the name changes in early 2022.

(23) comments

Tom Manson

Lee was a great man who wanted reconciliation and no statues. We dishonor his memory with the continued divisiveness. There have always been and will always be better ways to spend our tax dollars and our time, but this has gone on too long. Change has come, time to put these names to rest.

Stephanie Richardson

What total madness. It is like a dog chasing its tail. With all the other issues America faces, the time and money spent on this never-ending foolishness would be much better spent on the growing number of opiod addictions and overdoses, school funding, and increase of violent crimes just to name a couple.

Larry Lyons

So then all those towns in Germany shouldn't have removed the names of the leaders of the Nazi party from their schools, streets etc. A statue of a butcher and slave owner put up 60 years after the war is meant to intimidate not commemorate.

ROBERT ARRINGTON

so sad what a waste of time and money but its typical of dems to waste both

Larry Lyons

Really like those billions the GQP has spent of our money on lowering taxes on corporations and the very rich, which is costing us trillions? That sort of typical waste? Or the F-35 hanger queens that cost hundreds of millions each, again pushed through mainly because of GQP insistence. Yep them Republicans are real Fiscal Conservatives (pardon me I forgot the sarcasm tag).

Paul Benedict

Well, better change the name of Fairfax County too. The enlightened people to the west in Middletown, Warranton and Luray are changing the name of Lord Fairfax Community College because he had slaves. Also, President Biden (close friend of Corn Pop) should deny federal services to any citizen who has the last name of Washington, Lee, Adams, Jefferson and many other racist surnames until these people change their racist name.

Duke Nukem

The (not) Democratic party needs to change their name too. I have no idea why they are holding on to that. If the ***skins can change their name in woke America why can't THE party. There are many many buildings named after racist Democrats like Robert Byrd, who Obama knew well, which need to be renamed too. He even has a road named after him. How is it that Robert Byrd has more architecture named after him than Hiram Revels the first black member of Congress. who just happened to be a Republican. Oh that must be why. Is he even a footnote in school books these days?

Larry Lyons

You forget that because of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts of the 1960's those Dixiecrats went over to the Republican party and now own it. The Democrats have more than redeemed themselves. You nonfascist Republicans ended up going downhill and backwards since being owned by the reich wing.

George Lawton

Larry…I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or if you actually believe this stuff. You’re a typical modern day leftist nut job, totally detached from reality.

Paul Benedict

That is a pure fiction. Not one so-called Dixiecrat has ever played a significant role in the Republican Party. Please provide a name if you think otherwise.

The Democrats still have many old white racists that call grown black men boys like Joe Biden or belong to white only clubs like Sheldon Whitehouse.

Larry Lyons

So typical of the right wing. When you've run out of ideas, or have nothing in the first place, you resort to personal insults and invective. It is as predictable as the behavior of a rat in a Skinner box.

John Dutko

@ Paul

Strom Thurmond

*hits ball to you*

Paul Benedict

John, Thurmond was replaced by Democrat Robert Byrd when the racist Democrats took control of the Senate. Unlike Byrd with the Democrats, Thurmond never had any lasting influence on the Republicans. Biden was good buddies with both Thurmond and Byrd. Plus, he Thurmond has been dead for 20 years. And since you are such a historian, you will remember that Thurmond's last 10 years or so were a joke as his mental capacity had diminished so much. He was not a major factor in Republican politics.

John Dutko

The real joke is that he kept getting re-elected. So his constituents must REALLY be slow. Or his opponents were so bad that they couldn't beat a lich.

But his attitude toward minorities is out front with Republican policies and rhetoric.

George Lawton

LOL…Hal, you’re late for your psychiatric appointment. The hero’s of the south will live on forever, regardless of your taliban historical desecration.

Larry Lyons

You mean traitors. The US is about the only nation I know of that revere's those who killed over a half million loyal Americans for the ugly atrocity known as slavery.

But hey George don't let your white hood and sheets get into a twist over the issue.

Paul Benedict

Ha, I was being facetious. Perhaps too much so as some believed me.

Hal Donahue

Why is this taking so long? Lee and Confederate names honor traitors and a horrendous time when Virginia was an apartheid state.

ROBERT ARRINGTON

so you dont like Colonial names either

John Dutko

So you endorse slavery and the perpetual reminders of it?

Duke Nukem

I expect to see you lying in the middle of Robert Byrd Rd. any day now.

Larry Lyons

You forget that for the last couple of decades of his life, Robert Byrd recanted his earlier behavior. And worked for racial justice. I have yet to hear about any of your Reich Wing Nutters doing the same.

George Lawton

😂

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