Work begins on monument dedicated to contributions of Va. women

RICHMOND, Va. -- Governor Terry McAuliffe and other state leaders broke ground today on a monument that recognizes the achievement of women.

The monument, which McAuliffe called "historic" will be namef "Voices from the Garden."

The privately-funded monument will form an oval shape garden that encompasses 12 bronze statues of significant women from Virginia. It will be surrounded by a glass panel etched with the names of other noteworthy Virginians.

The first three statues that will be built and installed are the Robertson hospital founder Sally Louisa Tompkins, the director of information for the Virginia Farm Bureau Laura Lu Copenhaver, and suffragist Adele Goodman Clark.

Former First Lady Susan Allen was at the groundbreaking, and she said she hopes this monument will educate younger generations about the women who helped shape the Commonwealth.

"Do you know how wonderful it's going to be, to be able to tell these stories of these 12 women and talk about that wall where the other names of women will be placed that makes all their stories truly enrich the tale of the Commonwealth,” she said.

People came out to the groundbreaking of the monument

"At a very difficult time that we have in our nation, as we hear about different issues as it relates to women, I think it's appropriate that we here in Virginia are leading the way once again," said Gov. McAuliffe. "This will be the first time a monument of its type representing many different centuries of women's contributions to our great Commonwealth will have ever been put on capitol grounds of any of the 50 state capitals in the United States of America. It is historic."

The first three statues that will be built and installed are the Robertson hospital founder Sally Louisa Tompkins, the director of information for the Virginia Farm Bureau Laura Lu Copenhaver, and suffragist Adele Goodman Clark.