A U.S. federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order to halt the removal of a Confederate monument at the Arlington National Cemetery. The decision comes as workers had already begun the process of removing the memorial, which is dedicated to Confederate soldiers.
The order was issued by U.S. District Judge Rossie Alston Jr. in response to a lawsuit filed by the group Defend Arlington, which is affiliated with Save Southern Heritage Florida. The group filed the lawsuit in a federal court, seeking to prevent the removal of the memorial.
“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,” claimed the lawsuit according to the Associated Press.
The monuments over recent years have sparked debates over their historical context and their place in modern society, with views varying widely across different regions and communities. The main Confederate Memorial in the cemetery commemorates members of the armed forces of the Confederate States of America who died during the American Civil War.
The memorial, sculpted by Moses Ezekiel, a Confederate veteran who is buried near its base, is located in Section 16 of the cemetery. In 1900, this section was designated as the Confederate Section, and Confederate casualties from around the cemetery were gathered and re-interred there.
The Army is following the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process as part of a Congressionally-directed removal of the bronze elements of the memorial. The 32-foot-tall bronze Confederate Memorial, which was originally erected in 1914, was scheduled to be removed from Arlington National Cemetery by January 1, 2024.
Many have seen the monuments as important historical artifacts that commemorate the complexities of American history, including the bravery and sacrifices of those who fought in the Civil War. The lawsuit argues that removing these monuments is akin to erasing history, and that it is possible to acknowledge the darker aspects of the past while still respecting the historical significance of these symbols.
#ConfederateMemorial in Arlington Cemetery is being dismantled today.
I hate these people 😠 pic.twitter.com/D64LTcP7r7
— 🇺🇲Salty Texan (@texan_maga) December 18, 2023
The Biden administration is removing the Reconciliation Monument in Arlington.
The monument was built 109 years ago to honor post-Civil War reconciliation and national unity.
History is being rewritten before our eyes. pic.twitter.com/GC7u7f8Ao4
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) December 17, 2023
It’s literally called the “Reconciliation Monument” and was erected 100 years ago as a sign that the country had moved on from the Civil War. Now they’re tearing it down as a sign that they actually don’t want us to move on. https://t.co/8vJ87m7yId
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) December 17, 2023
The Biden regime is tearing down America's historical monuments because that's a common tactic in communist cultural revolutions. https://t.co/3zJ67tPeoX
— Emerald Robinson ✝️ (@EmeraldRobinson) December 18, 2023
This week, the Biden Administration is removing the Reconciliation Monument—which honors national unity after the Civil War—from Arlington National Cemetery.
We have a Divider-in-Chief in the White House. pic.twitter.com/t0ZF3NVU8e
— Rep. Andrew Clyde (@Rep_Clyde) December 18, 2023