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Lee statue comes down in Richmond; activists say it marks a new beginning in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. — After more than a year of legal wrangling, one of the nation’s largest Confederate monuments — a soaring statue of Robert E. Lee, the South’s Civil War general — was hoisted off its pedestal in downtown Richmond, Va., on Wednesday morning.

At 8:54 a.m., a man in an orange jacket waved his arms, and the 21-foot statue rose into the air and glided, slowly, to a flatbed truck below. The sun had just come out and illuminated the towering gray pedestal as a small crowd on the east side of the monument let out a cheer.

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