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What qualifies someone to be a statue?

What makes a hero?

Eloisa de Farias, Staff writer and Editor

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      Currently with the newest heat of the controversial topic concerning statues, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of them in Konawaena. As I began to think about it more, I couldn’t think of any statues at all in kona.The only thing that came to mind were the cheery Hula dancers that stand at the Kona airport. The Hula dancers aren’t necessarily historical heroes and although their cultural value is important, the Hula dancers aren’t exactly internationally known. This intrigued me as I did more research on statues, although not a statue I did find something that came close. Our gymnasium. Our gym is dedicated to Ellison Onizuka, who checks off the hero and historical figure checkmarks. The purpose of our gym being dedicated to Ellison Onizuka is to honor and remember this remarkable alumni that made a difference. Although not a physical statue, dedication is a form of recognizing a significant person.

      So this brings up the question, what qualifies someone to be made into a statue? This question has been a topic of discussion since the incident that has occurred in Charlottesville. Duke university recently chose to remove their standing statue of Robert E. Lee in their chapel. NPR interview university President Vincent Prince who attempting to address why they chose to remove the statue stated, “We have a responsibility to come together as a community to determine how we can respond to this unrest in a way that demonstrates our firm commitment to justice, not discrimination; to civil protest, not violence; to authentic dialogue, not rhetoric; and to empathy, not hatred.” The statue of Robert E. Lee was erected in the entrance of Duke university’s chapel in the early 1930’s. Why and who put up the statue remains a mystery as finding its origin is still a work in progress for historians. What I found strange was the fact that in the entrance of the chapel are various statues including that of Martin Luther, Girolamo Savonarola, and John Wycliffe. Don’t worry, I also couldn’t put a face to most of these long names, but post research came to realize they were all influential religious figures righteously standing in the entrance of the chapel, yet right across from them stands Confederate General, Mr. Robert E. Lee. Recently this has angered and offended quite a bit of people. A little history flashback, Robert E. Lee was a Confederate General, the pro slavery side in the civil war. As this statue that to some represented much more than a war General began to displease and upset people, Duke removed it.

     Interestingly enough, this caused many people to ponder and wonder why it is that Robert E. Lee was placed in the chapel in the first place, after all the Confederates didn’t win the war. If you think that’s not reason enough for people to question the standing statue, Robert E. Lee himself didn’t want statues being put up at the time. Yep. Lee himself stated that if statues of war heroes were put up it would “keep open the sores of the war”. Not only did he not want to provoke any discomfort, but Lee didn’t want the south to be paying for statues after they just lost the war and were broke. So why would someone put up a statue of a person who didn’t even want to be made into a statue? The question remains. When Konawaena 12th grader, Hannah was asked the question, what do you think qualifies a person to be made into a statue? She replied with, “Being made into a statue shows how accomplished one has been to be molded into an everlasting form for everyone to see. That person must’ve done something great that left an impact on humanity to be made into a statue.”. That leaves us to think about many things including whether Robert E. Lee’s statue was rightfully made and placed. Statutes are  representative of a person or thing causing who is being made into a statue to be a statement in itself, hence disagreements and all going on at the moment. Despite the whole situation, if anyone wants to make a statue of me i’m totally fine with it, just be sure it’s at a good angle.

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What qualifies someone to be a statue?