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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Arlington National Cemetery to Remove Confederate Memorial in the Near Future

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NEW YORK – The​ removal⁣ of a Confederate memorial from Arlington National Cemetery in northern Virginia is set ⁤to take place in the coming days, as part of the ‍ongoing ‌efforts to⁤ remove symbols that commemorate the‍ Confederacy from military-related facilities.

The decision ⁣to remove​ the memorial comes despite a recent demand from more than 40 Republican ⁢congressmen that​ the⁣ Pentagon suspend efforts to dismantle and ‌remove ​the monument from Arlington cemetery.

Safety fencing has⁤ been installed around the memorial, and officials anticipate‍ completing the removal by⁤ Friday,​ the Arlington National Cemetery said in an email.⁣ During the removal, the⁢ surrounding landscape, graves ⁤and headstones will be protected, the Arlington National⁤ Cemetery said.

Virginia⁣ Gov. Glenn Youngkin disagrees with​ the decision ⁣and plans to move the monument ‍to the New Market‌ Battlefield State Historical Park in the Shenandoah Valley, ‌Youngkin spokeswoman⁢ Macaulay Porter said.

In 2022, an independent‌ commission ⁢recommended that‌ the memorial be taken down, as ​part of ‌its final report ⁣to Congress⁣ on​ renaming of ⁣military bases and assets that⁤ commemorate the Confederacy.

The statue, unveiled in 1914, features a bronze woman, crowned‍ with olive leaves,‌ standing ‍on a 32-foot​ pedestal, and⁢ was designed⁤ to ⁣represent the American South. According to Arlington, the ‌woman ‍holds a laurel⁤ wreath, a ⁣plow stock ⁤and a pruning hook, ‍with a Biblical inscription at her feet that says: “They have​ beat their swords into‌ plough-shares and their spears into ‍pruning hooks.”

Some of the figures also on the statue include a Black woman‌ depicted​ as “Mammy” holding what is‍ said to⁤ be the child of a white officer, and an enslaved man following his owner to war.

In a⁣ recent ‌letter to‍ Defense Secretary ⁢Lloyd Austin,​ more ⁤than 40 House Republicans​ said the commission⁤ overstepped ⁣its authority when it recommended that the monument be ⁢removed. The congressmen contended that the monument “does not honor nor ⁢commemorate the Confederacy; the memorial commemorates ‌reconciliation and national unity.”

“The Department of Defense⁣ must respect Congress’ clear ⁤legislative intentions regarding the Naming Commission’s legislative authority” the letter said.

U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Georgia Republican, has⁣ led the push to block the memorial’s removal. Clyde’s office​ did‌ not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Saturday.

A process to prepare for the memorial’s removal ⁢and relocation has been completed,⁤ the⁢ cemetery ⁣said. The‌ memorial’s ​bronze elements will be relocated, ‍while the ​granite base and foundation will remain​ in place ⁣to avoid disturbing⁣ surrounding graves, it said.

Earlier this year, Fort Bragg ⁤shed its ​Confederate namesake to become Fort‌ Liberty, part of the broad ⁣Department of Defense initiative, motivated by ​the 2020 George Floyd protests, to rename ⁢military installations that had been named after Confederate soldiers.

The North Carolina​ base‍ was originally named in 1918 for Gen. Braxton Bragg, a Confederate general from Warrenton, North Carolina, who​ was ‌known for owning slaves and losing key Civil War battles that ‍contributed to⁢ the ⁢Confederacy’s downfall.

The Black Lives Matter demonstrations that erupted nationwide after Floyd’s killing by‌ a white police officer, ⁢coupled with ongoing efforts to ⁣remove ‌Confederate monuments,⁤ turned the spotlight on the Army‌ installations. The naming commission created by Congress visited the bases and met‌ with members of the surrounding ‍communities ‌for input.

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Truth Media Network
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Agree This is a necessary step towards creating a more inclusive and equal society. The removal of Confederate memorials is an important gesture of acknowledging and rectifying the pain and injustice caused by these symbols of oppression.

  2. Agree. It is a positive step towards promoting unity and healing from the painful history associated with Confederate memorials.

  3. Agree. The removal of Confederate memorials shows a commitment to honoring and respecting all Americans who have served and recognizing the need to move forward from a painful past.

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