Column: Why I started a petition to remove the Confederate monument at the Virginia Beach municipal center

Tessa Fowler speaks at a rally advocating removal of the Princess Anne County Confederate Heroes monument at the municipal center in Virginia Beach on Thursday, Aug. 24. Fowler started a petition to have the 1905 statue removed. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

VIRGINIA BEACH — Did you know there is a statue in Virginia Beach that has a Confederate soldier on top? Confederate soldiers fought for slavery. The statue is in the same spot where people used to sell slaves a long time ago. Slaves were not free. They were kidnapped.  

We are free in America, and slavery is the opposite of freedom. So this statue does not make sense to me. Its like if Germany put up a statue of Hitler. He wanted to get rid of Jewish people, and his soldiers were the Nazis and killed millions of Jewish people. So you see how it would be horrible to have a Hitler statue?

We should not have statues that make us look up to someone who fought for slavery. And we should have statues of people who fought against slavery. Like Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves with his speech. Or Harriet Tubman who was brave and helped slaves escape. I am glad there were brave people that stood up to fight for freedom of black people. I wish I was alive in the 1800s because I would have helped slaves get far away to the North to be free. 

Even though there are no slaves now, black people still get treated differently sometimes, and we must fight for everyone to be equal. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worked to make people equal. He gave speeches and was brave standing up to show things were not equal. 

Rosa Parks also was brave to show that it was unfair to make black people sit in the back of the bus. Barbara Johns was brave when she was 16. She lived in Virginia and led a walk out of students because black people did not have equal schools. 

We need statues to look up to the people that did brave things for everyone to be equal.

I wrote a letter to Mayor Will Sessoms asking him to take the statue down. I also started a petition and lots of people have signed it, so the mayor needs to take it down. We cant just stand there and and let stuff like slavery happen. What is more important than being free and equal? 

After writing messages with her family on Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Confederate monument in Virginia Beach, Sophie Fowler, 4, got out some chalk to leave behind for other people to write messages, too. Her sister, Tessa Fowler, started a petition at to ask the Virginia Beach City Council to remove the Confederate monument at the municipal center. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Fowler was born on President Obamas Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2009. She is in the third grade. She has a strong sense of social justice and will speak up whenever something is unfair. View her petition at

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