North Carolina Man Holds All-Day Vigil at General Robert E. Lee Statue in Charlottesville

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A North Carolina man is in Charlottesville representing Union soldiers in an all-day vigil in front of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Market Street Park.

As of noon, William Thorpe had 11 hours to go in his vigil. He said it will be worth it to bring attention to Union soldiers.

Since January, Thorpe has spent a total of 104 days standing near where another Confederate statue, Silent Sam, had been removed in North Carolina.

Thorpe said he chose to stand in Charlottesville because the events of August 2017 inspired protestors to remove the Silent Sam statue. Comments from President Donald Trump also inspired him to stand by the General Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville.

“The president said that he was a favorite general and this is an individual who fought against the United States of America. I mean, you're talking sedition, secession, treason,” said Thorpe.

Thorpe plans to place 17 bricks in the park near the statue over the course of the day. He stated that each brick would represent one hour and that he wants to build a wall, much like President Trump, for “illegal, undocumented aliens who denounced their citizenship.”

Just before noon, people gathered to see Thorpe wave an American flag, and speak about why he came to Charlottesville. Thorpe plans to wrap up when the park closes at 11 p.m. on Thursday night.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated 'succession' instead of 'secession'. That has since been corrected.