Nearly a century after it was first erected, and almost four years after it triggered a deadly weekend of violence, the statue of Robert E. Lee sitting on horseback in downtown Charlottesville was hoisted into the air Saturday and carted away on a truck.

Many of those watching the bronze monument come down shared the same response: It had been a long time coming.

“I don’t have much to say other than this is well overdue,” said Zyahna Bryant, who started a petition while in high school in 2016 to remove the statue. “This should have happened a long time ago.”

After years of legal battles, protests and tensions that gripped the community and sometimes the nation,it took only a few minutes for workers to pull the 1,100-pound figure off its pedestal and drive away.

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