August 19th, 2023
Faraldi for Lynchburg
— Celebrating Lynchburg History, Honoring Mayor Thornhill —
Lynchburg, VA — For the first time in over a century, the City of Lynchburg has erected a statue to honor the legacy of one of her own. Today, in one of the most historic corridors of the Hill City, a bronze facsimile of Mayor M.W. "Teedy" Thornhill now prominently stands in the middle of the 5th and Federal Street roundabout.
Mayor Thornhill, first elected to City Council in 1976, was Lynchburg's first African-American Mayor, as well as a civil rights activist and business owner. He was elected by his colleagues on council to the post of Mayor in 1990.
Vice Mayor Chris Faraldi, who was unable to attend the celebration due to a long-standing family obligation, provided this statement following the historic occasion:
Today is a momentous day as we honor one of Lynchburg's own, one who made a lasting imprint on this community. It is impossible to view this place and not sense the importance of this man and his dedication to our city.
Humbly I submit, if the Lord willed it to grant me but an ounce of Mayor Thornhill's impact on our beautiful home, my purpose on council would be fulfilled. We all should learn from his story, his service, and his life.
I am told this monument is the first to be erected by the city in well over 100 years. To contemplate the narratives of history for this country over the last century, to then gaze upon the statue erected here and to then know Mayor Thornhill's ceiling-breaking life of service -- it instills a sense of pride in this city we call home.
May the legacy of Mayor Thornhill forever be enshrined here, at this place, for all to reverently admire, contemplate, and respect.
This is a great day for our city.
Chris Faraldi, a conservative Republican, is the Ward IV Representative and Vice Mayor of Lynchburg City Council.