A Confederate memorial will be removed from Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia as part of the progressive Democrats campaign to erase history, according to a cemetery official on Saturday.
The decision disregards a recent request from more than 40 Republican congressmen that the Pentagon halt preparations to destroy and remove the monument from Arlington National Cemetery.
The memorial has been surrounded by safety fencing, and officials expect to complete the removal by December 22, according to an email from the Arlington National Cemetery. The surrounding landscape, graves, and headstones will be preserved during the removal, according to Arlington National Cemetery.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin disagrees with the ruling and intends to relocate the monument to the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park in the Shenandoah Valley, according to Youngkin spokesman Macaulay Porter.
In 2022, an independent commission recommended that the memorial be demolished as part of its final report to Congress on the renaming of Confederate military facilities and assets.
The bronze figure, topped with olive leaves and perched on a 32-foot pedestal, was supposed to represent the American South and was revealed in 1914. Arlington describes the woman as holding a laurel wreath, a plow stock, and a pruning hook, with a Biblical inscription at her feet reading, “They have beat their swords into plough-shares and their spears into pruning hooks.”
A Black woman shown as “Mammy” holds what is supposed to be the kid of a white officer, and an enslaved man follows his owner to battle are both depicted on the statue.
In a recent letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, more than 40 House Republicans complained the commission overstepped its authority when it recommended removing the confederate memorial.
According to the legislators, the confederate monument “does not honor or 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” according to the letter.
Georgia Republican U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde has led the effort to keep the memorial in place. Clyde’s office did not respond immediately to an email requesting comment on Saturday.
According to the cemetery, the process of preparing for the memorial’s removal and relocation is now complete. The bronze elements of the memorial will be relocated, while the granite base and foundation will stay in situ to avoid harming nearby graves, according to the statement.
Fort Bragg was renamed Fort Liberty earlier this year, as part of a larger Department of Defense move inspired by the 2020 George Floyd demonstrations to rename military locations named after Confederate soldiers.
In 1918, the North Carolina base was named after Gen. Braxton Bragg, a Confederate general from Warrenton, North Carolina, who was infamous for owning slaves and losing crucial Civil War battles that contributed to the Confederacy’s demise.
The countrywide Black Lives Matter protests that erupted in the aftermath of Floyd’s assassination by a white police officer, combined with ongoing efforts to remove Confederate monuments, focused attention on Army sites. Congress established a name commission, which visited the bases and spoke with residents of the neighboring communities to solicit input.