An open letter to Brigadier General Joseph S. Stringham, U.S. Army, ret, Chairman, National Ranger Memorial Foundation
Dear BG Stringham,
A lot of good people are outraged at the desecration of the Ranger Memorial at Fort Benning, Georgia as a result of Elizabeth Warren's legislation in the 2021 NDAA requiring the removal of all commemoration of the Southern Confederate States of America from DOD assets, despite over 44% of our military being recruited in the South.
The South has always been fertile ground for patriotism and military service, which go back to our Revolutionary and Confederate heritage of bravery and valor.
In your recent letter to the National Ranger Memorial Foundation you wrote of the directive from Col. Colin Mahle, Garrison Commander of Fort Benning, for the Foundation to "remove specific names from our RANGER Monument/Memorial. These names are Col. John S Mosby 1992 RHOIF, Mosby memorial paver, Quantrill memorial paver, George Bowman memorial paver with reference to BG Morgan and Jackson Bowman paver with reference to BG Morgan."
You stated that:
While all of this is wrapped in the legal promulgation of a law passed by the Pelosi 117th Congress, importantly the action directed at me is an interpretation of said law by a Naming Committee established by the DOD and the OSECARMY management and passed down to installation level management. This is the case with Ft Benning and our RANGER Memorial.
Implementation of dramatic / radical edicts and shifts in policy at issue here are frequently accompanied by inaccuracies, (stupid) interpretations, injustices to survivors and a strong political slant offensive to substantial sectors of society. The deceased named in this directive, the Mosby family and the Bowen family in particular, are victims of woefully targeted legislation enacted by the Pelosi, WOKE, 117th Congress. Interpretations of this legislation have received the slavish obedience by both civilian and military management at the national level as passed down, apparently without verification, to our installations. . . .
Warren, who lied about her ethnicity for years to game the affirmative action system, has ripped the fabric of our nation apart for what she thinks is a political advantage. Her legislation falsifies and erases history.
The thing I am writing you about is that the Ranger Memorial is not the only thing being degraded by Warren's legislation.
Arlington National Cemetery itself is about to be desecrated for all time by the same legislation.
The same naming commission that you state is operating without verification of its interpretations, recommended demolishing the 109 year old Confederate Reconciliation Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.
That memorial is a world class work of art surrounded by over 500 Southern graves in concentric circles out from the magnificent monument. The sculptor, Moses Ezekiel, a Jewish VMI Confederate soldier and acclaimed artist, is buried at its base along with two other Confederate soldiers and a Confederate sailor.
The Confederate Memorial should not be in the naming commission's remit because it does not commemorate the Confederacy in any way. It commemorates the reconciliation of the United States of America after a bloody war in which 750,000 died and over a million were maimed.
Reconciliation is clearly the symbolism and theme of the Confederate Memorial. It would not even be in Arlington National Cemetery if not for the strong desire of the United States government, Congress, presidents and both Union and Confederate veterans to welcome Southerners back into the country in a real way.
Arlington National Cemetery itself in its 2014 application for its Historic District to be on the National Register of Historic Places states in several places that RECONCILIATION is what the Confederate Memorial stands for.
Even naming commission vice chair, Ty Seidule, who hates the Confederate Memorial in Arlington, admits the reconciliation theme and wrote about it in his book, Robert E. Lee and Me, though he left that critical information out of the naming commission's report to Congress, thus making that report, shall we say, less than the truth.
On page 162 of Robert E. Lee and Me, Seidule writes:
Of the thousands of monuments around the country to the Confederacy, the one in Arlington National Cemetery angers me the most. Every year, the commander in chief sends a wreath, ensuring the Confederate monument receives all the prestige of the U.S. government. That's why it riles me so much. . . .
Seidule then admits that the Confederate Memorial stands for reconciliation:
I know both political parties and white citizens in the North and South brought the country back together after the tremendous bloodletting and destruction of the Civil War. The posts named for Confederate officers during World War I also served to knit white America back together as it fought a common foe. And it worked, but we must recognize that reconciliation came at a steep and horrifying cost. African Americans paid the price with lynching, Jim Crow segregation, and the loss of the franchise. The price for white reconciliation remains far too high. (Bold emphasis added.)
Truth be known, the base names shouldn't have been changed either, causing offense "to substantial sectors of society" as you said, and wasting over a hundred million dollars.
The Southern bases were so named, as Seidule admits, for the reconciliation of the United States of America, and it worked, as he also said. But now that history will be erased.
I do not believe the names on the Ranger Memorial that you have been directed to remove or cover, are within the naming commission's remit. Those names are there to pay tribute to American valor and to the United States of America, not the CSA.
The naming commission recommendations to demolish things that, arguable, are not in their remit, are illegal, and, regardless, are immoral.
There are other subjective statements in the naming commission's write-up on the Confederate Memorial that mirror leftist politics and are false but consider these irrefutable facts on the reconciliation theme: The naming commission did not mention that three presidents had been actively involved with the creation of the Confederate Memorial, which was the brainchild of Union soldier and later president, William McKinley, who said:
. . . every soldier's grave made during our unfortunate civil war is a tribute to American valor . . . And the time has now come . . . when in the spirit of fraternity we should share in the care of the graves of the Confederate soldiers . . . The cordial feeling now happily existing between the North and South prompts this gracious act and if it needed further justification it is found in the gallant loyalty to the Union and the flag so conspicuously shown in this year just passed by the sons and grandsons of those heroic dead.
President William Howard Taft gave a well-received speech the evening of the laying of the cornerstone at a UDC ceremony.
President Woodrow Wilson gave the dedication address at the Confederate Memorial June 4, 1914, and both Union and Confederate veterans spoke lovingly of the monument and our reconciled, reunified nation.
The year before had been the famous handshakes across the wall by the old Union and Confederate gentlemen for the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
President Teddy Roosevelt spoke highly of the Confederate monument.
President Warren G. Harding sent a message of respect and admiration that was read at sculptor Moses Ezekiel's funeral.
Each year, every president sent an annual wreath to the Confederate Memorial including Barack Obama.
Those dozens of presidents over the past century were not commemorating the Confederacy, they were commemorating the reconciliation of the United States of America, yet none of that was mentioned by the naming commission in their less-than-truthful report.
The mistakes the naming commission made about the names on the Ranger Memorial, and the less-than-truthful report to Congress, must be addressed and both the Ranger Memorial and Confederate Memorial protected.
To demolish the Confederate Memorial would not only destroy a world class work of art, it would leave a mangled shaft in Arlington National Cemetery surrounded by over 500 Southern graves that are there to symbolize reconciliation as President McKinley said. Every one of them is a tribute to American valor.
Demolishing the Confederate Memorial would dishonor Arlington National Cemetery for all time.
It is beneath the dignity of the United States of America to destroy historic monuments in cemeteries, or take names off of memorials.
I am asking you, BG Stringham, with all the resptect I can muster, to please make the fight to save the 109 year old Confederate Reconciliation Memorial YOUR fight too, and the fight of all our Rangers. Rangers Lead the Way!
The Woke must be made to understand that American Valor and Honor are steadfast and forever, and do not blow with Woke political winds.
An organization, Defend Arlington, has a law suit to stop the demolition of the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. We have to raise money constantly to maintain it because we are just average patriotic Americans from all over the country trying to address an outrage.
We have done a tremendous amount so far. We have published an outstanding book full of history and evaluation of the Confederate monument by distinguished historians and art critics. We have been delivering copies to members of Congress, especially on the House Armed Services Committee. I can get you a copy.
It is available online as a flip-book PDF. There is a link below.
I'm sure you know Hon. Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, whose Third Congressional District is not that far from you in Alabama and includes Fort Benning. He should be a powerful ally in the fight for the Ranger Memorial and the Confederate Reconciliation Memorial.
In your recent letter to the members of the National Ranger Memorial Foundation, in which you discussed the outrage of having to remove names from the Ranger Memorial, you stated: "This is not the last word."
Please make the fight to stop the desecration of Arlington National Cemetery also your fight and the Rangers' fight! It is the same fight, same bad legislation, same "politicized" unhistorical interpretations of history.
I do not have your email address so if someone could help get this Open Letter to you, I would be most appreciative.
Thank you for your distinguished service to our country, and God Bless America!
Gene Kizer, Jr.
Charleston, South Carolina
Links to Important Resources
Defend Arlington Fundraising Site where you can help save Moses Ezekiel's MAGNIFICENT 109 year old Confederate Reconciliation Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery by Buying Outstanding Merchandise featuring BEAUTIFUL images from the monument. Art critics have said that every image on the monument is a work of art by itself. There are all kind of things like shirts, hats, hoodies, clocks, art prints, tote bags, note cards, stickers, ipad skins and cases, cell phone cases and skins, wall art, coasters, mugs, pins, throw pillows, water bottles, journals, magnets, etc.! ALL PROCEEDS GO TO THE DEFENSE FUND! Go spend some time on this site! You will love it!
Defend Arlington's recording of the 35 or so speakers on behalf of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery that took place Wednesday, March 15, 2023 in a virtual meeting of the Remember and Explore Subcommittee of Arlington National Cemetery.
Here is a link to Defend Arlington's donation page that states:
CHIP IN FOR THE ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY MEMORIAL LITIGATION DEFENSE FUND. You can also pay with Zelle. Send to
Defend Arlington update with link to February 28, 2023 Tucker Carlson interview with Christopher Bedford on the Confederate Reconciliation Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.
Hot off the press! Here is a link to the new 385 page PDF from Defend Arlington that flips pages as you read. It contains all the great scholarly white papers gathered up by Defend Arlington to make sure that Woke ignorance DIES at Arlington National Cemetery.
Here is a link to an informative nine minute video, "The Arlington Confederate Monument," produced by the Abbeville Institute.
Here is a link to the outstanding scholarly PDF white papers written for Defend Arlington. You can download them all with one click. Please share them far and wide, especially the letter from Defend Arlington's attorney, Karen C. Bennett, to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
Here is link to an excellent video refuting point by point a historically false Prager University video by Ty Seidule, who is naming commission vice chair. This one is produced by Bode Lang and entitled "The Civil War Was Not for Slavery."
Here is a link to an excellent video of a Georgia lady calling out Elizabeth Warren and her Massachusetts hypocrisy.
Here are important Southern Legal Resource Center links. SLRC mailing address is: Southern Legal Resource Center, 90 Church St., Black Mountain, NC 28711-3365.