As a 20-year military veteran whose family has deep roots in Virginia, I'd like to address the ballot issue to relocate the Confederate statue from the grounds of the Warren County courthouse.

A common theme I hear from those opposed to this effort is that it dishonors our ancestors. I disagree. Moving the statue to a more appropriate place has no impact on the monument itself or the ability of descendants to visit it.

Now you may wonder why the county courthouse is not an appropriate location for the statue. As a veteran, I recognize that the war was fought to divide our nation. Our county courthouse exists in the United States of America because the Confederacy failed. Further, the primary reason these men were called to serve was to defend the southern states' rights to own slaves. While most of the 600 soldiers from Warren County were not slave owners, they did fight to defend the idea that one-fourth of our county's residents were considered property with no rights. Therefore, as the home of justice in our county today, the courthouse is actually the most inappropriate place for the statue.

Vote to relocate the statue and unite our county.

Julie Chickery, Front Royal