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Long-controversial Robert E. Lee marker in Ohio vandalized

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FRANKLIN, Ohio (AP) — A vandal or vandals over the weekend spray-painted a marker honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in the southwest Ohio city of Franklin.

WHIO-TV reports they also wrote “no racist monuments” on the road in front of the marker, which was moved from alongside a public highway in the aftermath of the deadly 2017 violence over Confederate statues in Charlottesville, Virginia. It is now on private property at a Fraternal Order of the Eagles chapter.

Franklin resident Brian Morris told WHIO he spent part of his Sunday cleaning the monument.

He said: “I did it silently because hopefully this person feels better and got this out of their system and we can all move forward while respecting each other’s views, regardless of what they might be.”

During debates over the marker, defenders of the marker said it was part of Franklin’s history. However, Lee’s main connection to Ohio was with the killing of Ohioans in the Union Army during Civil War battles.

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