Judge places temporary hold on removal of Arlington’s ‘Reconciliation Memorial’ to confederate soldiers

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A federal judge on Monday issued a temporary restraining order to halt removal of a “Reconciliation Memorial,” built as a gesture of unity for the nation and to memorialize Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The order was made on Monday, the very day that workers brought in scaffolding and equipment to begin to dismantle the monument.

The Reconciliation Memorial removal order came after the 2020’s Black Lives Matter riots, and was part of a larger order to remove all references to the Confederate South in military sites around the country.

“The removal will desecrate, damage, and likely destroy the Memorial longstanding at ANC as a grave marker and impede the Memorial’s eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places,” the lawsuit against Arlington states.

The temporary restraining order issued by U.S. District Judge Rossie Alston said a lawyer for the plaintiffs alleged that the work involves disturbance of gravesites. The memorial is, in fact a gravesite of its designer, a Jewish man who served in the army of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

“This monument was erected in the spirit of reconciliation and was the brainchild of US President McKinley, himself a Union  veteran, after the Spanish-American War,” the group says on its website. “The monument was designed by Sir Moses Ezekiel, a Jewish VMI Cadet who served in Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army. It is literally the grave of Ezekiel, who died in WWI and was buried at the base.”

Defend Arlington says that removing the memorial monument does nothing to advance civil rights.

“In 1898, following the Spanish-American War, where Union and Confederate veterans fought side-by-side under one flag, President William McKinley declared in the heart of the South, Atlanta, Georgia, that the U.S. government would commit to sharing in the burden of honoring and properly burying the Confederate dead, stating, ‘sectional feelings no longer holds back the love we feel for each other. The old flag waves over us in peace with new glories.’ In 1900, Congress authorized Confederate remains to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and in 1906, Secretary of War, William Howard Taft, permitted construction of a monument honoring our country’s new shared reconciliation from its troubled divisions,” wrote Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, who opposes the desecration of the monument.

“Finally, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson unveiled this new memorial to national unity – designed by a Jewish-American sculptor, the memorial is topped with a woman crowned by an olive wreath to symbolize peace,” Clyde and 43 other lawmakers wrote.

The monument has such significance that presidents traditionally send wreaths to be placed at its base. Even President Barack Obama carried on the tradition because of the unifying message of the monument.

“This tradition, which demonstrates tremendous national unity and respect, has been carried on regardless of the party or politics of the sitting President. Even President Barack Obama understood the importance of the Reconciliation Monument in the context of what it stands for, unity not division, when he continued the presidential tradition of sending a wreath to the monument in 2009.” 

Rep. Clyde also wrote, “As its removal does not align with the original intent of Congress, the House of Representatives took action to prevent the removal of the Reconciliation Monument in the Fiscal Year 2024 Department of Defense Appropriations Act. The Department of Defense must comply with this request or risk denigrating the delicate balance of the principles of separation of powers between Congress and the Executive, outlined in the Constitution.” The full letter and its signers, all Republicans from the party that fought to end slavery, are available at this link.

The judge says he will take any exaggeration by lawyers representing Defend Arlington seriously “and should the representations in this case be untrue or exaggerated the Court may take appropriate sanctions.”

The opposition to the monument’s removal goes beyond grave desecration for many. It’s about “woke” politics erasing American history, with all its flaws.

 A Presidential Document by the Executive Office of the President filed on 07/02/2020 reveals the government is perfectly aware that a trend of indiscriminate attacks on historical sites and figures is gaining steam across the country while city and state officials are unable to properly contain or counter the crimes. The government knows the tone of our country is worsening, yet the U.S. Military continues to bend a knee to the trend of whitewashing history and now has slated for the removal of an Arlington Cemetery monument. Tell our U.S. Military that enough is enough, quit the cancel culture, defend our American heritage, stop the destruction!” wrote the group at Change.org.

Army National Military Cemeteries is complying with a Congress-created “Naming Commission” requirement to remove the Confederate Memorial by Jan. 1, 2024. The naming commission has also been responsible for removing historic names from various military bases, primarily in the South.

A perimeter of safety fencing has been installed around the Reconciliation Memorial, with the removal date set for Dec. 22.

For updates on the Confederate Memorial removal, visit: https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/About/Confederate-Memorial-Removal.

Arlington National Cemetery had posted no Monday updates to its website about the restraining order.

30 COMMENTS

  1. They’ve already erased the true history of slavery in this nation-going back to the first indentured servants and that the first slave owner petitioning for lifelong slavery was himself a freed African slave in Virginia (or was it Maryland? Hmm.). The communist progressives spent the past century corrupting the education system, now they no longer even attempt to hide their agenda, to replace true history with their fantasy delusions. A people with no history have no future.

  2. The left must erase history in order to exist. If history is allowed to stand, they eventually will be confronted with their profound legacy of racism, violence, and corruption.

    The idea of national reconciliation is an anathema to them. Segregate and eliminate.

  3. I am so very sick and tired of this BS!!! Removing statues does NOT erase history. Some people need to pull up their damn pampers and get over themselves.

    • ” ….. pull up …. pampers ….”
      Only one here that seems to have a full diaper is you!!!
      Yes the Left is replacing US history w/gender studies, African studies, LBQT studies etc …etc.

    • Amen j Kirk. I’m with you. These slimy scumbags trying to change history need to leave my country. I don’t want them here. Good history bad history our country is amazing.

      Those who try to change history are bound to repeat it.

    • Public school grad? Or worse, Ivy League?

      A breathtakingly vapid take. A pinch of correct mixed with an overflow of nonsense.

      Removal of a statue does not alter history. That is correct. But it is a step in the process.

      A dedicated goal of removing all offending statues? Along with iconography, literature, history, culture? That is erasing history.

      Only the truly ignorant or the rabidly partisan don’t understand this.

    • Statues evoke history. They commemorate special events. The statue was about reconciliation. Obviously, there is no need or desire for reminders of past reconciliation today by those cleansing history. Oh… and Orwell was a naive optimist.

    • Yep. From the .mil website:

      Arlington Estate was established by George Washington’s adopted grandson, George Washington Parke Custis, to be a living memorial to the first president. Custis’s daughter, Mary, married U.S. Army 1st Lieutenant Robert E. Lee in 1831. When he died, Custis left the estate to his daughter Mary Custis Lee for the duration of her life, and upon her death, her eldest son would inherit the property. Robert E. Lee served as the executor of his father-in-law’s will and never owned the property

      After the Lees abandoned the property at the start of the Civil War, the U.S. Army seized Arlington Estate on the morning of May 24, 1861 to defend Washington, D.C. From the property’s heights, rifled artillery could range every federal building in the nation’s capital. The estate was seized not to punish the Custis-Lee family, but rather for its strategic value. Three forts were built on the property during the Civil War: Fort Cass/Rosslyn, Fort Whipple/Fort Myer and Fort McPherson (currently Section 11 of the cemetery). Beginning in June 1863, a large Freedman’s Village, established for freed and escaped slaves, was established in what today are Sections 3, 4, 8, 18 and 20.

  4. The only people set upon removing or replacing history are those who want us to repeat it. It’s amazing how open leftists are with their plans and how little people care to pay attention to it. They tell us what they want and we don’t fight back so they demand more. Leftists demand you agree or they will silence you, they will destroy you, they will kill you.

    It’s happening all over the world, antisemitism is exploding across the globe while communists cheer and support it. We are assaulted with it here as mush brained children sloppily repeat what their communist indoctrinated professors feed to our youth, as most parents standby idly allowing this to happen because having a babysitter is easier than teaching your child.

    Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.

  5. It isn’t a memorial to confederate soldiers. It is a memorial of reconciliation to the civil war. You are furthering the left’s talking points. Try to do better.

  6. The Lees ceded land for six or seven of states of the several states. So of course the left fascists want them and the graves desecrated.

  7. It’s not an attempt to erase history. History is still there and the idea that it will somehow go away because a statue is removed is ludicrous. But hey, it gets most of the right-wingers on here whipped up into a frenzy, so it must be newsworthy. I swear, conservatives have to be the most easily triggered snowflakes in the universe.

    I look at it as removing monuments to traitors. Would you be OK with a monument to Benedict Arnold?

    • Please, tell us about your plans for monuments to Lenin and Chairman Mao. Oh yeah, Seattle has had an official , imported from the old Soviet Union, Lenin statue for you to go and pay your respects to for over two decades now. Look where it got them. Societal decrepitude. Let us all hasten to cman’s new, and improved world, where honor and glory are relegated to obscurity, and the wisdom of those who are devoid of it is celebrated on the regular during the daily two minutes of hate ceremonies.

    • We Americans are all traitors, in British eyes.
      Should we therefore remove all references and monuments to the War of Independence as a sop to British sensibilities? THAT would follow the ‘logic’ of your radical leftist war on history and truth.

      Don’t you ever get tired of being so consistently dishonest and wrong?

    • The Lee/Custis/Madison descendent arrived in Alaska just a few years after the civil war. It would be nice for us to see these installations before the Communists, Chinese or Russians out themselves as having taken over the US middle class. The republic who is disapproved of by the UN, WEF, monarchs, and the top one percent of the one percent global oligarchs and the left patsies.

    • Super rights? How did you get those super rights to slap down history. Just point to it in the Constitution. I’ll wait.

    • What in gods name are you talking about? Congress is upset? Are you lying intentionally or something?
      The only reason why that memorial is still standing is because of a Trump-appointed judge.

      Congress approved destruction of these memorials when they passed the George Floyd NDAA spending bill in 2020. You know, the one that Trump VETOED – specifically for this reason.

      But Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski didn’t want that pig trough defense money held up – they have wealthy donors to keep happy. So they grandstand about ‘supporting the military’, joined hands with Democrats – overrode Trump’s principled veto and left in these destructive Black Lives Matter cultural provisions.

      Congress caused this and let it happen because the NDAA is how our Senators get paid.
      They sell out in a second if it means having to not having to lift a finger to fight with insane Democrats over cultural matters.

  8. So we have Democrats desecration Democrats Graves. Nice. They desperately need to erase the DNCs history of racist crap. White wash indeed.

  9. You left wing ‘superpatriots’ make me laugh when you start wrapping yourselves in the flag and talking about tearing down monuments to traitors. Lets test your fake patriotism, huh, stud?

    You logically must be in favor of tearing down the recently erected monuments to Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. Those scumbag natives rebelled against the Red White and Blue! The got the violent end they deserved. We don’t build monuments for traitors, right? Likewise, we should revert the politically correct 90’s-era battlefield name back to ‘Custer Battlefield National Monument’ – because George Custer was a badass. The vast majority of Indian tribes also sided with the Confederacy, guess black slavery didn’t bother them all that much.

    Or, say John Brown – the famous Harper’s Ferry abolitionist. Literally has dozens of monuments and statues, that all need to go, correct? He is the definition of a traitor because he was actually executed for treason. He killed AMERICAN soldiers, and murdered several civilians when he lashed out at Old Glory. He’s basically the 1850’s version of Timothy McVeigh.

    So give the fake posturing a rest. Its OK to admit you like some causes and don’t like others – but don’t insult us by pretending that ‘rebellion against the federal government’ is your disqualifying factor.

  10. You are looking at it wrong, closed minded, superficial, without a lot of thought, insight, with a condescending and dismissive attitude towards conservatives, Not very inclusive of you. Read what the statue meaning and purpose were. Look at what M.A. and Brett wrote. It appears you just comment to trash conservatives.

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