While touring the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill on Tuesday afternoon, the Tice family took a detour.
“We thought we’d see the statue, since it might not be here,” said Deborah Tice, standing about fifteen feet from the first of two rows of metal fencing surrounding Silent Sam, a monument to Confederate soldiers just off Franklin Street.
The family, from New York, had heard reports of a protest at the statue planned for seven tonight and decided to check it out for themselves. Their daughter, Maia, is considering applying to the school.
As students milled about campus and news stations set up cameras, their discussion about the history of Silent Sam and Confederate monuments in general drew several eavesdroppers, including a university employee who said he studied the Civil War and gave a quick lesson on when the statue was dedicated (1913) and by whom (the United Daughters of the Confederacy and UNC alumni).
“I think it’s a piece of history, but it doesn’t need to be celebrated that way,” said Deborah’s husband, Wayne.…