Weekly The Generation, Year 1, Issue 16
December 19, 2023
A federal judge temporarily halts the removal of the Confederate Monument at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday.
U.S. District Judge Rossie Alston Jr. issued the order on Monday Dec. 18 after workers had begun working on the removal that was slated to be completed by the end of the week.
On Sunday, the group Defend Arlington and affiliate of Save Southern Heritage Florida, filed the emergency motion asking for the pause arguing that the removal of the monument would disturb grave sites.
“Plaintiffs have made the necessary showing that they are entitled to a temporary restraining order pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b) to preserve the status quo pending a decision by the Court on the merits of this action,” Alston’s order reads.
The order temporarily bars the Department of Defense from “taking any acts to deconstruct, tear down, remove, or alter the object of this case.” A hearing on the case is scheduled for Wednesday.
On Saturday, Arlington Cemetery announced that safety fencing had been installed around the memorial and officials expected it to be completely removed by Friday. According to a news release, the landscape, graves and headstones surrounding the memorial will be protected while the monument is taken down.
“During the deconstruction, the area around the Memorial will be protected to ensure no impact to the surrounding landscape and grave markers and to ensure the safety of visitors in and around the vicinity of the deconstruction,” the cemetery news release said.
The removal part of a national effort to get rid of confederate symbols from military-related spaces. was slated to go ahead despite pushback from some Republican lawmakers.
Last week, 44 lawmakers, led by Georgia Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin demanding the Reconciliation Monument be kept, Fox News reported.
Clyde said the monument, “does not honor nor commemorate the Confederacy; the memorial commemorates reconciliation and national unity.”
In a September 2022 report to Congress, an independent commission recommended the removal of the monument, which was unveiled in 1914 and designed by a Confederate veteran. The memorial “offers a nostalgic, mythologized vision of the Confederacy, including highly sanitized depictions of slavery,” according to Arlington Cemetery.
Source: USA TODAY