Lexington calls for unity after Charlottesville rally

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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ7) Amid the food and Yankee Candles in the Shenandoah Attic on Main Street, owner Al Hockaday stocks Civil War-related items. But no Confederate battle flags.

"In the 27 years that we've been here, I think I've had calls for maybe five or six in 27 years? A good merchant isn't going to put on his shelves what he isn't going to sell," Shenandoah Attic's Al Hockaday said.

For Hockaday, the war and its issues are just a part of the fabric of town.

"History is history. You can't erase it. You can't get rid of it. You just have to live with it," Hockaday said.

At VMI, Jackson still steps toward the parade deck of the school where he taught before the war. Aside from his grave, it's the only outdoor memorial to a Confederate.

"This is a very important issue for VMI. We are obviously part of the society of America. How this affects VMI is just now something we're beginning to talk about," VMI's Stewart MacInnis said.

But Al Hockaday thinks the key is to understand why visitors are here in the first place.

"They don't come with a chip on their shoulder just to say: I'm going to Lexington with a chip on my shoulder. They don't do that. So we don't meet them with a chip on our shoulder. That would be stupid," Hockaday said.