RALEIGH, N.C. -- Crews in North Carolina removed the largest remnants of a 75-foot-tall (23-meter-tall) Confederate monument that sat near the grounds of the state Capitol for 125 years.
The granite pillar that had supported a statue of a Confederate soldier was pulled from its base in Raleigh to cheers from a crowd of onlookers late Tuesday night, news outlets reported.
By about 7 a.m. Wednesday, after the pedestal was also removed, all that remained was a low-lying part of the monument's base covered in a tarp, according to WNCN-TV.
On Friday, protesters pulled down the statues of two Confederate soldiers that were secured on a lower part of the obelisk, before dragging the figures down the street and stringing one up by its neck from a light post. One day later, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper ordered the rest of the monument to be removed, along with two other nearby Confederate memorials, citing public safety.
Crews worked for three days to disassemble the structure that supported the statues, bringing in cranes, towing straps and metal rods to dismantle it piece by piece.
Photos showed the stone pedestal displaying the dedication “To Our Confederate Dead” being hoisted into the air, with the initials “BLM,” for Black Lives Matter, and the words “No Justice” scrawled across it. Just the stone steps were left late Tuesday.
Kenny Lee, a Black man who grew up in North Carolina, was quoted by The News & Observer as saying that watching the monument come down was like "witnessing a new history.”
“Some would say that you’re erasing history and getting rid of history and so forth,” he said. “But we’re just creating a new future."
This story has been edited to clarify that all that remained of the monument Wednesday morning was a low-lying part of its base.