There’s a lesson to be learned for those who say that Virginia is still fighting the Civil War.  It comes straight from the halls of the State Capitol—which was once the Confederate capital—to mark the War’s sesquicentennial.  The bronze statue is called “Brothers” …and it symbolizes how amidst opposing views and divisive issues, it’s how they’re resolved that makes the nation great.

The life-sized statue depicts two brothers: the older Confederate—poor, weathered, and battled-torn—and the younger Yankee—recently recruited and supplied.  On a field of battle, they have set aside their arms and fallen to their knees embracing.  One faces the sky as if thanking his Maker for the chance to make amends.

“After the Civil War was finished, Southerners began to organize into camps–United Confederate Veterans and they would establish camps in different cities. Likewise, the Union Veterans would associated together in Grand Army of the Republic posts that began dawning the landscape. And what I can’t help but notice, is that by the 1890’s when Civil War veterans were holding various reunions, they began to invite their counterparts to the same reunions,” says State Capitol Historian Mark Greenough.

The statue is the work of nationally recognized sculptor Gary Casteel … but was donated by an anonymous Virginian.

–Tommie McNeil

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