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After 10 Years Of Planning, Women’s Monument Unveiled at Virginia’s Capitol

The Wall of Honor in the new Virginia Women’s Monument.
The Wall of Honor in the new Virginia Women’s Monument. (Photo: Louise Keaton/VPM)
Dr Lauranette Lee at the podium
(Photo: Louise Keaton/VPM)
Women’s Monument Unveiling
(Photo: Louise Keaton/VPM)
Virginia Women’s Monument Statue
(Photo: Louise Keaton/VPM)
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This story was reported by VPM Intern Patrick Larsen.

Statues of seven influential Virginian women were revealed Monday on Capitol Square in Richmond.  Hundreds of people turned out for the unveiling of the Virginia Women’s Monument to recognize the importance of women in the state’s history.

Lisa Hicks-Thomas has been a member of the Women’s Monument Commission since its creation in 2010. She says the Commission wanted to tell stories important to all Virginians.

“We had town hall meetings all across all areas of Virginia to make sure that we got the input of the citizens as to what they wanted it to look like,” said Hicks-Thomas.

The seven statues unveiled Monday represent a cross-section of Virginia history, including Pamunkey Chieftain Cockacoeske, Jamestown colonist Anne Burras Laydon and suffragist and artist Adèle Clark. Another five statues are planned for the grounds, but the monument’s commission is still seeking funds to pay for them. Some Virginia residents have criticized the planned addition of Sally Tompkins, a Confederate nurse, and hospital administrator.

The monument also features a glass wall etched with the names of more than 200 other influential women, with plenty of space to add more.