Virginia is home to what scholars say is the densest concentration of Confederate common-soldier statues of any state. Visitors from outside the South are sometimes surprised to see them: more than 100 unknown infantrymen, often in prominent places across the state. Locals tend to take for granted the lone figure that often stands near the county courthouse, commemorating what came to be known to some as the "lost cause" and to others as the war that ended slavery.
A. Melvin Miller, an Alexandria, Va. civil rights activist, makes the most interesting observation on why these monuments don't continue to generate protests. He says that are "just symbols of something, and if the thing they were a symbol of is no longer a problem, what's the symbol?"