CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — In a meaningful moment that was years in the making, the bronze statue of Robert E. Lee that once stood in Charlottesville gave one final, solemn thumbs-up as it was melted down in a blazing furnace.
"It was a powerful sight," said one eyewitness to the statue's final destruction. "We all knew it was a momentous occasion, but we were not expecting to see General Lee give one last salute. As he was lowered into the blazing furnace, he reached one hand up and gave a thumbs-up before disappearing into the molten metal below. Through the smoke, I thought I heard the words: 'I know now why you cry, but it's something I can never do.' It was almost as if he was at peace with his fate."
The statue, a source of controversy in the wake of the 2017 Charlottesville rally that resulted in an explosion of racial tension, was originally torn down in 2021. "With the melting down of this statue, racism has now, thankfully, been completely eradicated," said progressive minister Jeremiah Barnes. "All people will live in peace and harmony now that this bronze sculpture isn't causing endless hate to spread around the globe. Perhaps his final thumbs-up was his own way of agreeing that he must be destroyed."
At publishing time, sources had confirmed the metal from the melted statue would be used to sculpt a new monument of Lizzo embracing Beyoncé.
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