Monument Removal Halted By Judge

( – A federal judge blocked the removal of a Confederate memorial from Arlington National Cemetery just hours after the process had begun on Monday, December 18th. The monument has been targeted for its association with the American South during the Civil War and its presentation of slaves on bronze plaques at the base.

Critics say the memorial depicts slavery as benign, and associate the monument with a wider effort to remove monuments and statues presenting the Confederacy or its leaders positively across the country. The effort has been largely opposed by Republicans and generally advanced by Democrats.

Defend Arlington is the organization that sought the injunction to temporarily halt the removal of the statue, arguing that the Pentagon had rushed the decision and failed to perform legally required environmental impact studies. The group also argued that the Pentagon failed to consider damage to the area, including burial sites and headstones.

A hearing for oral arguments will occur on Wednesday, December 20th at 10 a.m. Fencing was temporarily added to the area to keep people away from the site.

In the fallout of George Floyd’s death, statues and monuments became a common target for organizations like Antifa and BLM. They vandalized and destroyed statues around the country without interference from police before the process ultimately became much more orderly. The Arlington Confederate Memorial was ordered removed by the Pentagon by the end of 2023. It was going to be put into storage.

It was constructed in the early 20th century after the United Daughters of the Confederacy raised the funds for construction. The monument features a bronze relief of slaves presented in a positive light, earning the ire of the leftists. It was completed in 1914 under President Woodrow Wilson.

Over 40 Republican members of Congress signed a letter sent to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin demanding the monument be left alone. They argued that the monument symbolized reconciliation after the war and not the Confederacy.

Critics contend the depictions of African American slaves on the base of the monument warrant its removal.

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