It may be easy, at least for some people who do not live near Confederate monuments in public spaces, to assume that these monuments represent little more than links to a shameful and long-ago past. From this assumption one might then view these monuments as a sort of last stand; the atavistic echo of a country that was, but is no longer, cemented into the present by their monumental form though ultimately doomed to erode in the undefined future. But, unpleasant though it may be to consider or admit, the truth is that many remaining Confederate monuments embody aspects of their communities that remain vital into the present, and which they help to anchor and renew.

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