A Divisive Act
Amidst vocal protestations, the Pentagon stands firm on its decision to dismantle the historic Reconciliation Monument in Arlington National Cemetery by the end of the week. Despite the outcry, the 109-year-old monument’s fate seems sealed, as workers prepare to erase a piece of history, leaving a conspicuous void in the heart of the nation’s capital.
The Monument’s Rich History
In 1914, the Reconciliation Monument, born from a desire to heal post-Civil War divides, was unveiled. Moses Jacob Ezekiel, a Jewish ex-Confederate, sculpted the piece. It features a bronze woman, crowned and holding symbols of peace, surrounded by figures representing the South’s complex past.
Echoing President McKinley’s call for unity, this statue stands as more than just stone and metal—it embodies the shared care of Civil War graves and symbolizes a nation mended.
The Legislative Mandate
A recent act of Congress mandated the removal of Confederate tributes from Defense Department properties, setting a 2024 deadline for the task.
Outcry Across Party Lines
Bipartisan leaders have expressed dismay at this initiative. Senator Jim Webb and Congressman Andrew Clyde stand out, advocating for the monument’s preservation as a symbol of national unity and reconciliation.
As the monument’s removal nears, slated before December 22, officials assure the public that the process will respect both the environment and the historic preservation of the site.
A New Home in Shenandoah Valley
Virginia’s Governor Youngkin has offered the New Market battlefield as the monument’s next resting place, ensuring its preservation for future generations.