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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Many businesses and schools were closed in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday. Today at least one Wilmington business was closed in remembrance of another American leader.

Neighbors noticed Woodbury & Co. Commercial and Personal Insurance off Military Cutoff was closed today in honor of the birthday of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The controversial move has people on both sides of the argument speaking out.

“I think they shouldn’t shut down for Robert. E. Lee’s birthday, because it’s not a holiday, and they’re missing out on their money and their business,” Christopher McDougal of Wilmington said.

Jack Stanfield of Wilmington said, “If the business owner feels he needs to close for respect to what our nation has stood for, then he should have the right to do it himself.”

Many small business owners we spoke with said they were open on both MLK Day and Robert E. Lee’s birthday, because they say they could not afford to close.

We were unable to reach anyone at Woodbury & Co. to see why they chose to take Lee’s birthday off.

Comment on this Story

  • Lesson Learned

    You’re right: “Wouldn’t it be great if we would do this post like every other post and stay positive” WWAY should have done just that; portrayed it in a positive light. Someone (Mr. Woodbury) honoring a much forgotten player in our American history. Not air the story in “scandalous light”. It caused me do a little research on Mr Lee and I found he was a virtuous man. The only person to ever graduate from West Point without a single demerit. Thank you for the history lesson learned.

  • SurfCityTom

    Sports Fan

    What difference does it make whether they closed in observance of Martin Luther King Day?

    They likely do not close for St, Patrick’s Day.

    They likely do not close for Queen Elizabeth’s birthday.

    That’s the beauty of this country. Freedom of choice.

    Did you ever walk a post or go on patrol, as a Member of our Military, in support of the freedoms we all enjoy?

    Just curious.

  • Guest12347

    I agree WWAY is making more out of it – HELLO – thats what news people do – all these people are slamming WWAY, but yet, you watch the station, you get on THEIR website and post comments – if they are so bad, quit watching and posting – :)

    There are good people out there and great stories out there, but that story does not hit the headlines – tragedy, horrible does. That just goes to show this sick world that we are living in.

    All you see if rape, murder, shooting, fighting, etc… that sells –

    Someone that held the door open or just plain good ole people, that does not sell. – thats not news – and the news is going to go after what sells and they are going to stir up crap like this headline here to sell – and we fall for it because we get on their website and post about it.
    Wouldnt it be great if we would do this post like every other post and stay positive… encourage each other –
    wouldnt it be nice to have a headline of noticing “good” people.. but majority of the head line is bashing someone or tearing down a company…
    WWAY go out and find these GOOD people w/ GOOD REAL stories – pass on what life should be about, helping, serving, respect, caring for each other.

  • SportsFan

    Did Woodbury close for Martin Luther King Day? Just curious.

  • Brad

    Any business owner should have the right to close their business on what ever day they choose. I just hope they close on 1/19 out of respect for Robert E. Lee, not out of disrespect for the MLK holiday…

  • A. JOHNSON

    THANKS FOR STANDING UP FOR A GREAT GENERAL IN AMERICAN HISTORY, WISH MORE PEOPLE WOULD DO THE SAME. THIS IS NOT ONLY ABOUT THE SOUTH BUT
    ABOUT AMERICA, AND AS AMERICAN, I AM PROUD TO BE FROM THE SOUTH.
    WOODBERRY INS. IS A GREAT COMPANY AND THE FAMILY HAS DONE A LOT OF GOOD THINGS FOR WILMINGTON, MORE THAN “MOST” OF US CITIZENS, BUT I SUPPOSE WWAY DOESN’T REPORT THOSE THINGS. WOODBERRY HAS THE RIGHT TO CLOSE AND OPEN ON ANY DAY THEY WISH–THAT IS THE AMERICAN WAY, AND THANK GOD FOR PEOPLE LIKE THE WOODBERRY FAMILY AND THEIR EMPLOYEES. WWAY NEEDS TO REPORT ON HOW AMERICA NEEDS JOBS AND HOW CAN WE CREATE NEW JOB AND ON ALL THE CRIME THAT IS GOING ON IN THE TOWN INSTEAD OF WHO IS CLOSED AND WHY THEY CLOSED.

  • NCGULL

    Robert E. Lee refused to draw a sword against his home – Virginia. I would do the same for North Carolina. If you wouldn’t, you need to leave it – NOW. Slavery was alive and well a LOT longer under the American flag than it was the Confederate flag, so why all the criticism anyway? Robert E. Lee was an honorable man, and his birthday is what I celebrate on my January day off from work. Way to go, Woodbury & Co. – YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest Lee

    Please give Mr. Woodbury and all his employees my deepest regard and admiration. What WWAY meant for evil has turned around for good.

  • Guest1

    I love it! I applaud Woodberry & Co. Insurance for this!

  • Guest1234

    I hope Woodbury’s business doubles this year. Way to go!!

  • Employee

    WWAY is trying to turn this into a sensational news story in keeping with the dictate of their news director. Must have been a pretty slow day in the news department for them. Unfortunately for them, if they would educate themselves regarding REL, they would see there was more to the man than the fact he was a general for the south in the Civil War. My boss has a true admiration for him that has nothing to do with black or white.

    Any independent businessowner has the right to close for any reason on any given day. That’s what makes them “independent”.

    Mr. Woodbury is a fine person in his own right & doesn’t deserve to have his company exposed to innuendos like this. Shame on WWAY for making it appear this way.

  • SurfCityTom

    no Southerner worked harder to rebuild the South and to mend the fences between the North and South.

    He took the Presidency of Washington College and restored it to greatness; and today we have Washington & Lee in Lexington, Va.

    He appeared before Congress; he met with President Grant’s administration to determine steps which could be taken to resolve the former disagreements.

    He had implemented a plan to free the slaves on his wife’s plantation and return them, if they wished, to Africa.

    He turned down repeated business opportunities which would have made he and his sons independantly wealthy.

    He was the spirit and inspiration for Sigma Nu.

    And he never marched over some long ago and mostly forgotten incident.

  • Guest 1

    I applaud Woodbury for having the guts to stand up for a great American. More people should do the same in this world.

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