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State taking comment on a monument to women

Should the state put a new monument in Capitol Square to honor women? If so, what should it be?

You can give the state your thoughts in one of nine public forums announced today by Gov. Bob McDonnell.

McDonnell is chairman of the the Commemorative Commission to Honor the Contributions of the Women of Virginia. House Speaker Bill Howell is also a member. The commission was created by a General Assembly resolution last year, for the purpose of coming up with a Capitol Square monument to “commemorate the contributions of the women of Virginia” and to seek private funding to create it.

“The uplifting and powerful stories of the women of Virginia are overdue for telling and underappreciated to this day,” McDonnell said in a news release. “This monument will ensure that visitors to our State Capitol will have the opportunity to learn about and celebrate great Virginia women.”

Capitol Square is already home to several statues and monuments, including the large statue of George Washington on a horse (unveiled in 1858) and statues of Edgar Allen Poe, Harry Flood Byrd Sr., Stonewall Jackson (which has stood there since 1875), Governor William “Extra Billy” Smith, and Dr. Hunter Holmes McGuire.  (information from A recent addition to the Square is the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial, and the Square also holds the zero milestone, for measuring highway distances from Richmond.

“Virginia’s history is storied and includes many significant accomplishments and contributions by women, which have strengthened our communities and improved our Commonwealth’s terrific quality of life,” Howell said in the release.  “How best to appropriately recognize these achievements is an important conversation to have and I hope and encourage all Virginians to participate in the forums.”

The public forums will be held in October around the state. None are scheduled in Fredericksburg; the closest ones are in Richmond and Northern Virginia. Here is the full list:

October 12 – Southside Virginia

7:00 PM at Danville Community College - Regional Center for Advanced Technology & Training Auditorium

121 Slayton Avenue, Danville, Virginia  24540


October 17 – Hampton Roads

2:00 PM at Christopher Newport University

Freeman Center, Room 202,

University Place, Newport News, Virginia  23606


October 17 – Hampton Roads

7:00 PM at Norfolk City Hall

810 Union Street

Norfolk, Virginia  23510


October 19 – Southwest Virginia

7:00 PM at Radford University

Heth Hall

801 East Main Street, Radford, Virginia  24142


October 20 – Central Virginia

2:00 PM at University of Richmond

Tyler Haynes Commons, Room 305

28 Westhampton Way, Richmond, Virginia  23173


October 20 – Central Virginia

7:00 PM at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Lecture Hall

200 North Boulevard, Richmond, Virginia  23229


October 24 – Valley / Western Virginia

7:00 PM at James Madison University

Festival Board Room

1301 Carrier Drive, Harrisonburg, Virginia  22807


October 26 – Northern Virginia

2:00 PM at Fairfax County Government Center

Conference Rooms 9 or 10

12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia  22035


7:00 PM at Fairfax County Government Center

Conference Rooms 9 or 10

12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia  22035


If you want to participate but can’t attend a forum, here is how to contact the commission:


Mail:    Virginia Women’s Commission; Post Office Box 396; Richmond, VA 23218

Phone: (804) 786-1201