Ezekiel . . . accepted the verdict of the civil war's arbitrament with all the fine generosity that has been characteristic of both the north and south; and the splendid product of his art, that here testifies to our nation's reunion, will stand from this day forth as guardian over his ashes. . . . Every line and curve and expression carries the plea for a truly united nation that may be equal to the burdens of these exacting times. It speaks to us the ardent wish, the untiring purpose, to help make our people one people . . . It is the memorial of reunited America, the testimony to the tradition of indissoluble union, the shrine to which we are gathered today, and will gather through the years to come . . .
Excerpts from President Warren G. Harding's message read at the funeral of Moses Ezekiel, sculptor of the Arlington Confederate Memorial
Naming commission's report on the Confederate Memorial is a historical FRAUD
It is Woke extremist politics that began with Elizabeth Warren during the George Floyd riots
As Brigadier General Joseph S. Stringham (ret) said, the naming commission's report is WITHOUT VERIFICATION
The Confederate Memorial is NOT in the naming commission's remit as they falsely claim
THE PUBLIC CAN MAKE COMMENTS until September 2, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. EST (there is a link below to the comment page); KEY POINTS from Defend Arlington are below and available as PDF
[Publisher's Note, by Gene Kizer, Jr. - As stated earlier, before Elizabeth Warren and her Woke naming commission can desecrate Arlington National Cemetery by demolishing the 109 year old Confederate Reconciliation Memorial, they must follow the Section 106 process required by the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to leave comments before the September 2, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. EST deadline for this round, and it is easy to do so.
Just click HERE and start writing though I would advise reviewing the points and articles below and outlining your argument beforehand. You can also email your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Click HERE for PDF of Defend Arlington Key Points, or scroll down.
Click HERE to see the video of the August 23, 2023 public Zoom meeting of Arlington National Cemetery in which approximately 100 people supported the Confederate Memorial versus one who wanted it down. Supporters' commentary is powerful and often emotional. You can skip forward past the introduction and go straight to public comments.
Click HERE to view 28 official United States Army photographs of the magnificent Confederate Memorial. Looking at these stunning photographs for one second shows you clearly that destruction of this monument is a barbaric, uncivilized act that only an extremist like leftist vice chair of the naming commission, Ty Seidule, could be in favor of.
Seidule hates the Confederate Memorial, and the reconciliation of North and South after the bloody war, and said so in his screed, Robert E. Lee and Me (below).
The Confederate Memorial is NOT in the naming commission's remit, as they falsely claim, nor did Congress specifically mandate its removal.
The naming commission's unverified report deliberately leaves out the reconciliation theme, though that theme is IRREFUTABLE and stated repeatedly in Arlington National Cemetery's own application for its Historic District to be on the National Register of Historic Places. (download my PDF white paper "The Reconciliation of North and South After the War Between the States as Symbolized by the Confederate Memorial 'New South' in Arlington National Cemetery")
The Confederate Memorial symbolizes peace, patriotism and the reunification of the United States of America. It does not commemorate the Confederacy.
The Confederate Memorial is one of the most significant monuments on earth, not only for its symbolism of reconciliation after a war in which 750,000 died and over a million were maimed, but because of its magnificence. Again, look at the Army Photographs and ask yourself what kind of person would want to destroy a monument like that?
Click HERE to view a United States Army video of the Confederate Memorial.
Art critic Michael Robert Patterson states that:
. . . no sculptor, as far as known, has ever, in any one memorial told as much history as has Ezekiel in his monument at Arlington; and every human figure in it, as well as every symbol, is in and of itself a work of art.
Esteemed British art critic and historian, Alexander Adams, writes in his "Testimony regarding Arlington National Cemetery Confederate Memorial submitted to the Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery Open Session," 7-8 November, 2022 (download PDF):
Having viewed a large amount of public statuary from the beaux-arts era (1850-1914), it is my professional opinion that the Memorial is a serious, iconographically complex and technically accomplished piece of art. In my view, it is a handsome sculpture and an entirely appropriate funerary monument. I consider it an internationally significant piece of art of its type and era. Any nation should be proud to host such a magnanimous and dignified monument.
The inscription “And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks” provides a Biblical guidance to turning from war to peace. This is echoed by the personification of the South, which holds the wreath of glory and touches the plough of peaceful prosperity. The frieze below depicts the contributions of those who supported the war effort.
Here is some of the massive amount of history that the naming commission left out of their fraudulent report:
The monument was the idea of Union soldier and later president, William McKinley, after enthusiastic Southern participation in the Spanish-American War, and it was approved by Congress.
. . . 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 spoke and was warmly received at the UDC ceremony the evening the cornerstone was laid.
President Theodore Roosevelt sent the first memorial wreath that started an annual tradition observed by all presidents including Barack Obama.
President Warren G. Harding sent a message of condolence (download PDF here) that was read at the funeral of the monument's acclaimed Jewish sculptor, Moses Ezekiel, who was a VMI Confederate soldier. Here are some of Harding's comments from The Evening Star, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 30, 1921:
'Ezekiel will be remembered,' the President wrote, 'as one who knew how to translate the glories of his own time and people into that language of art which is common to all peoples and all times. He served his state in the conflict that threatened to divide and that at last served to unify our country. He accepted the verdict of the civil war's arbitrament with all the fine generosity that has been characteristic of both the north and south; and the splendid product of his art, that here testifies to our nation's reunion, will stand from this day forth as guardian over his ashes.
'Every line and curve and expression carries the plea for a truly united nation that may be equal to the burdens of these exacting times. It speaks to us the ardent wish, the untiring purpose, to help make our people one people, secure in independence, dedicated to freedom, and ever ready to lend the hand of confident strength in aid of the oppressed and needy. Its long-drawn shadows of earliest morn and latest evening will always fall on sacred soil. The genius that produced, the love that gave, the devotion that will cherish it will forever be numbered among our ennobling possessions.
'[H]e wrought them into works which compelled the recognition of the chief art schools and won the honors of nations and cities that boasted of being the homes of sculpture's best traditions. Crowned with these honors, he turned his thoughts to his own country, and as the final and finest product of his talents gave to us the monument that from this day will mark his resting place. It is the memorial of reunited America the testimony to the tradition of indissoluble union, the shrine to which we are gathered today, and will gather through the years to come, those who would dedicate themselves to the ideal of unselfish, enlightened, upstanding Americanism as a force for our country's maintenance and all humanity's betterment.'
You can not read President Harding's message without knowing that the Confederate Memorial represents RECONCILIATION, peace, love and patriotism, all things the naming commission left out of its fraudulent, unverified report.
Ezekiel created the Confederate Memorial in the City of Rome, Italy and is buried next to his monument along with two other Confederate soldiers and a Confederate sailor, which makes the monument their grave marker as President Harding stated in his funeral message.
Grave markers are prohibited, in Warren's legislation, from being destroyed. Destruction of the Confederate Memorial is ILLEGAL.
Veterans North and South, with love and enthusiasm for our reunited nation, supported the Confederate Memorial and spoke at its ceremonies. (See PDF photo of Gen. Bennett H. Young, commander, United Confederate Veterans, and PDF photo of Gen. Washington Gardner, commander, Grand Army of the Republic).
Although the naming commission falsely claimed "contextualization was not an appropriate option," a hundred page book of all the participants, speeches and history was published in 1914 by the UDC and is available on Amazon today. The title is: History of the Arlington Confederate Monument, by Hilary A. Herbert, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Arlington Confederate Monument Association. It is available in hardback or softcover. Click HERE for PDF.
The Confederate Memorial could easily be contextualized, which is why the Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery itself asked in a meeting earlier this year, why their own people could not just give the history of the monument rather than destroy it.
The Confederate Memorial was constructed during the days of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the famous handshakes across the wall (click for PDF photo) by the old Union and Confederate veterans.
The naming commission is a Woke political commission. They are not interested in historical truth. They are interested in extremist leftist politics, which is why this legislation was put forth in the first place by Elizabeth Warren, America's most famous fake Indian.
Naming commission vice chair, Ty Seidule, who hates the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, himself admits the reconciliation theme and wrote about it in his book, Robert E. Lee and Me, though he left that out of the naming commission's report.
I doubt if Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin would have approved demolishing a magnificent 109 year old monument to peace and reconciliation in our nation's most sacred burial ground if he had been given the complete history.
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. . . .1
Seidule then admits that the Confederate Memorial stands for reconciliation, and he, himself, regrets that:
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.)2
Truth is, none of the Army base names should have been changed, because, as Seidule himself admits, they were named after Confederates as part of the reconciliation of the United States of America, not to commemorate the Confederacy.
Seidule and Elizabeth Warren have aptly shown us how history can be falsified and destroyed for political purposes as George Orwell warned about when he said: "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past."
Seidule is incredibly ignorant of history. The "Jim Crow segregation" he mentioned, started in the North and was there a long time before moving South, according to C. Vann Woodward in The Strange Career of Jim Crow.
The Old South was an integrated society unlike the Old North, which was a white supremacist, rigidly segregated society. Several Northern states including Lincoln's Illinois had laws forbidding blacks from even visiting, must less living there. Blacks visiting more than a few days in Illinois could be whipped and jailed.
Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America said race prejudice was strongest in New England and places that had never known blacks except as cargo.
New Englanders brought all the slaves here for profit and they did not want blacks near them in the North or West.
So, the naming commission and its vice chair definitely knew the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery symbolized reconciliation and the reunification of the United States of America but they did not say a word about it.
That glaring omission makes their report, with respect to the Confederate Memorial, a lie and a complete historical fraud.3
Another HUGE thing to bring out in comments is the desecration of the 518 Confederate graves that are in concentric circles around the Confederate Monument. Those graves, that President William McKinley said are all tributes to American valor, are an INTEGRAL part of the Confederate Memorial. With no monument, those graves will surround a mangled shaft and be the objects of hate and derision, like freaks, in our nation's most sacred burial ground.
The message, as Seidule said in Robert E. Lee and Me, is that reconciliation was a mistake, but thanks to him, reconciliation is now over. No wonder the Army can't recruit.
Seidule says all the time that Southerners are descended from traitors but see the PDF of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's letter on presidential letterhead defending the picture of Robert E. Lee he kept on his White House wall the whole time he was president.
Eisenhower says it well, that the issues of States Rights versus supreme federal power, the right of secession, etc. were not settled before the War Between the States, and good men and women, North and South, had legitimate disagreement.
An ocean of Southern blood has been shed across the globe in defense of our great nation since reconciliation because 44% of our military has traditionally come from the South.
Yet, today, our military can't recruit because of Seidule and Warren's type of Woke politics.
Demolishing the Confederate Reconciliation Memorial would make Arlington National Cemetery a purveyor of hate and division, and a desecrator of soldier graves in what is supposed to be our country's most sacred burial ground.
We can not allow that to happen.
HERE (PDF) and below is a list of key points put out by Defend Arlington to consider in your comments.
HERE is a PDF of Defend Arlington's comprehensive white paper book with 17 articles from distinguished individuals and scholars. It is entitled Arguments Against Naming Commission Recommendation, RE: Arlington National Cemetery Confederate Memorial, A collection of white papers, articles, testimony, and the Presidential Monument dedication speech.
HERE is a PDF of former Virginia senator and Navy secretary, Jim Webb's, commanding Wall Street Journal article, "Save the Confederate Memorial at Arlington," published Saturday, August 19, 2023. Webb was a Marine infantry officer in Vietnam and is a distinguished fellow at Notre Dame's International Security Center. Here are some excerpts:
Having spent four years as a full committee counsel in the House and six years as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I cannot imagine that the removal of this memorial, conceived and built with the sole purpose of healing the wounds of the Civil War and restoring national harmony, could be within the intent of a sweeping sentence placed inside a nearly trillion-dollar piece of legislation.
The larger and ultimate question reaches further into America’s atrophied understanding of the Civil War itself. What was it that Union Army veteran McKinley [who was later president and conceived the idea for the Confederate Memorial in Arlington] understood about the Confederate soldiers who opposed his infantry units on the battlefield that eludes today’s monument smashers and ad hominem destroyers of historical reputations?
McKinley’s fellow soldiers understood that during the Civil War, four slave states remained in the Union—Maryland, Delaware, Missouri and Kentucky—and none of them were required to give up slavery during the entire war. And that in every major battle of the Civil War, slave owners in the Union Army fought against non-slave-owners in the Confederate Army. They understood that President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation did not free the slaves in those states or in the areas of the South that had already been conquered. The proclamation freed only slaves in the areas taken after it was issued. And in the eyes of a Confederate soldier, if Lincoln had not freed slaves in the union, why should the soldier be vilified for supposedly fighting on behalf of slavery?
Many soldiers in the North, and many more in the South, would have understood what John Hope Franklin (1915-2009), America’s most esteemed black historian, pointed out: In 1860 only 5% of whites in the South owned slaves, and less than 25% of whites benefited economically from slavery. An estimated 258,000 Confederate soldiers died in the war, about a third of all those who fought for the South. Few owned slaves. So why did they fight?
The soldier who wrote the inscription on the Confederate Memorial knew. And so did President McKinley and most veterans who have fought in America’s wars.
Click HERE for a PDF of the "Consulting Party Response Form for the Section 106 Review Process" that will allow you to be kept informed and to be given opportunities to input your thoughts over the next two months.
Southern valor in the War Between the States is unmatched in the history of the world. Historian James McPherson writes:
the overall mortality rate for the South exceeded that of any country in World War I and that of all but the region between the Rhine and the Volga in World War II.4
The funerary urns on the Confederate Memorial represent those losses from each year of the war.
The descendants of those good Americans, encouraged by men like Robert E. Lee, Nathan Bedford Forrest and so many others, rejoined our great nation with enthusiasm and have been the best Americans ever since.
We can not allow an extremist political commission with a historically fraudulent report to destroy a magnificent memorial unique in the history of the world in our nation's most sacred burial ground.
Stand up and FIGHT!
Please COMMENT and donate money (scroll down).]
Defend Arlington KEY POINTS in the fight to save the Confederate Reconciliation Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery
1. REMOVAL ILLEGAL / UNCONSTITUTIONAL
a) Removing the Memorial is illegal because it is a grave marker - the enabling Legislation excluded grave markers
The Secretary of Defense exceeded his authority by adopting a recommendation that is specifically prohibited in the 2021 NDAA that prohibits inclusion of grave markers (Section 370 (j). The Memorial marks the grave of Jewish artist and American veteran Sir Moses Ezekiel. This cenotaph even meets the Naming Commission’s own definition of a grave marker. The 3rd report to congress states “Markers located at the remains of the fallen. A marker, headstone, foot stone, niche cover, or flat marker containing inscriptions commemorating one or more decedents interred at that location.” This definition aligns with 38 U.S. Code § 2306 – Headstones, markers, and burial receptacles” US President Warren G. Harding sent a letter to be read at Ezekiel's funeral at Arlington. The Evening Star (Washington D.C.) published a full quotation on March 30th, 1921. Here is a small part of it:
. . . he turned his thoughts to his own country, and as the final and finest product of his talents gave to us the monument that from this day will mark his resting place. It is a memorial of a reunited America, the testimony to the tradition of an indissoluble union, the shrine to which are gathered today.
This removal is illegal.
b) Removing the Memorial is illegal - The Army ignored the enabling Legislation that required it to consider local sensitivities.
The Secretary of Defense exceeded his authority by adopting a recommendation that did not meet the requirements of the 2021 NDAA section 370(g)(4) that required that local sensitivities be considered. The 8 person naming commission did not ask the opinion of anyone, not even the Congressionally mandated (10 U.S.C. § 7723) Oversight Committee, the Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery. This is a grave site and an international tourist destination and our nation’s sacred shrine. No local sensitivities were considered. This whole thing is illegal.
c) The military (government) is putting the Cart Before the Horse - The Public Scoping Meeting of August 23, 2023 should have occurred BEFORE Secretary Austin decided to accept this recommendation. The Army is violating the 40 Code of Federal Relations Part 1500 Section 1500.1 (a) because they did not consider relevant environment information BEFORE the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Army ordered removal of the Memorial. The military is trying to fix the legal mess it has made. This whole thing is illegal.
d) Fire, ready aim. The military/government broke the law whey they jumped the gun by holding the August 23, 2023 scoping meeting on mitigation before checking all the required regulatory boxes.
The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) 36 CFR 800.6 requires the Army to complete 6 steps PRIOR to seeking input from the consulting parties and the State Historic Preservation Offices on resolving adverse effects, including modifications or alternatives to avoid, minimize or mitigate a planned action. The Army did not complete all the steps and are trying to fix things now, but they didn’t follow the law and that can’t be fixed. The Army has not identified all the adverse effects. This whole thing is illegal.
e) Removal of the Reconciliation Memorial is Unconstitutional and an attack on the historical Diversity of American Culture. When the humanists wanted to take down a monument in Maryland the Bladensburg Cross, in its 2019 decision, the US Supreme Court said “Where monuments, symbols, and practices with a longstanding history follow in the tradition of the First Congress in respecting and tolerating different views, endeavoring to achieve inclusivity and nondiscrimination, and recognizing the important role religion plays in the lives of many Americans, they are likewise constitutional.“ This memorial cenotaph is a long-standing historical monument and it is unconstitutional after over 100 years, to up and decide that this is offensive and has to go. In fact, just the opposite is true, this memorial is inclusive. It shows various minority groups, and in fact, it was sculpted by a gay Jewish man. Taking down this memorial is Unconstitutional.
f) Removal of the Reconciliation Memorial is Unconstitutional and an attack on America’s Judeo Christian Heritage Ezekiel’s memorial contains is the only memorial at Arlington National Cemetery that includes a scripture verse Isaiah 2:4, “and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks.”. It is featured in the Museum of the Bible’s Washington Revolution’s flyover. When the humanists wanted to take down a monument in Maryland, the Bladensburg Cross, in its 2019 decision, the US Supreme Court said citing the French Revolution “... A government that roams the land, tearing down monuments with religious symbolism and scrubbing away any reference to the divine will strike many as aggressively hostile to religion. Militantly secular regimes have carried out such projects in the past and for those with a knowledge of history, the image of monuments being taken down will be evocative, disturbing, and divisive.” Taking down this memorial is Unconstitutional.
g) The enabling legislation is Unconstitutional as it represents a Bill of Attainder. Article 1 Section 9, clause 3 of the US Constitution says “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed. Bills of attainder are acts of the legislature that inflict punishments on a person supposedly guilty of high offenses. When Senator Elizabeth Warren called Confederate soldiers ‘traitors’ on the Senate Floor - a charge that was NEVER brought by the government after the war against any Confederate - and the 2021 NDAA was passed on that basis, Congress passed a bill of Attainder. As such, the whole thing is Unconstitutional. The right of secession was reserved by Virginia, New York and Rhode Island before those states joined the United States Constitution. All the other states accepted the right of secession of Virginia, New York and Rhode Island thus they had it too because all states entered the Union as exact equals.
OTHER IMPORTANT COMMENTS
Background/Importance: As part of the regulatory review process, a property owner must look to mitigate any impacts to the environment or historic resources. This generally relates to replacing windows on historic buildings, etc. As noted above, in this case, the government is asking for input on mitigation even before they have identified the adverse effects to the Area of Potential Effect. Culture is a key word as it relates to mitigation.
a) Removal of the Reconciliation Memorial cannot be mitigated.
1. How do you mitigate removal of a memorial to American ‘reconciliation’? This memorial was erected as part of the reconciliation movement in America ignited by the victory in the Spanish-American war. This memorial stands unique in world history when a conquering nation honored the dead of its vanquished. When President Woodrow Wilson accepted the Memorial on behalf of the reunited and reconciled American people saying “nothing of this sort could have occurred in anything but a democracy…our solemn duty is to see that each one of us is in his own consciousness and in his own conduct a replica of this great reunited people”. There is no mitigation for de-reconciliation. The military is drastically short on recruiting - how will re-opening sectional differences help that? Over 44% of our military has traditionally been recruited in the South. The cultural impacts are unmitigatable.
2. Removing this Monument encourages division of our nation. Not everyone agrees with every monument in our country. Are we going to tear down the Washington Monument next because George Washington owned slaves? Are we going to tear down the Arlington House adjacent to the cemetery next because Robert E. Lee lived there? This is a slippery slope - there is no acceptable ‘mitigation' for the removal of this Memorial and even discussing it sets a dangerous precedent for any American monument anywhere and just encourages division and revolutionary iconoclasm. You can’t even discuss mitigation before you consider all the adverse affects including the cultural divide it will create - you’re putting the cart before the horse.
3. This monument is being weaponized against America in an asymmetrical war. There is an asymmetrical war going on against America, our unity, our heritage and our culture and this monument has been weaponized against us just like the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were. When the antisemitic Council of American Islamic Relations, with linkages to Hamas, came out for removing this Memorial, the Secretary of Defense should have considered that maybe, just maybe, he should re-look at this recommendation. But he decided first and listened later. This is like a kangaroo court where the execution is first and the judgment later. It is foolish to even consider mitigation before you have considered the multiple immense impacts of using our own history in the war against us, or even that there is a war going on against America.
4. Removal is a slippery slope and sets a dangerous precedent at not only Arlington but every National Military Cemetery. By accepting the fallacy of presentism which subjects all the monuments and memorials at Arlington to a bar that few historical sites will be able to withstand. After all, the US Army was not integrated until 1948. Some people are already saying that all monuments before civil rights should be removed. Using present standards to evaluate culture history, or “presentism” fails to take into account that, at the time in which historical events occurred, those involved did not enjoy the benefit of hindsight that has informed our present views. Will we take down the monuments to the Maine? How about the McClellan gate? The US Army during the Civil war under didn’t allow black soldiers to be buried with white soldiers. How about the Rough Riders monument? The Sheridan Memorial. Constantly re-looking out our past through the lens of the future is suicidal. You cannot mitigate the cultural effects that the precedent of removing this memorial sets.
5. Removal is an attack on America’s religious heritage. Of all the monuments and memorials in Arlington National Cemetery, Ezekiel’s memorial contains is the only memorial that includes a scripture verse (Isaiah 2:4, “and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks.”). Proverbs 22:28 commands us “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” The impact on our nationwide cultural heritage would be irreparably harmed and is unmitigatable.
6. Removal is an antisemitic attack on the deceased artist. This memorial is the only one sculpted by Jewish-American artist, Sir Moses Ezekiel. Despite being an ethnic minority, his artistic skill and his participation in the Civil War resulted in his award of this important project, which he designed specifically for the site to mark the graves of Southern civil war veterans. After his death, he was also buried at the base of the memorial, and the memorial became his grave marker. This is arguably the most important work of a Jewish sculptor in the world. Americans in the early 20th century showed their acceptance of Jewish artists at that time by selecting him to design this work. This attack on not only Ezekiel’s art but also his grave site will signal that antisemitism is alive and well at America’s most important military cemetery - Arlington National Cemetery - but would also telegraph to the world that American is now in lockstep with the radical elements in the middle east who want to see the extermination of the Jewish people. That cannot be mitigated.
7. Removal is an attack on America’s art heritage. Of all the monuments and memorials in Arlington National Cemetery, none are of the artistic quality of the Reconciliation memorial. The 30’ bronze was sculpted by world-renowned Jewish-American artist, Sir Moses Ezekiel. Ezekiel became the first non-German to win the Royal School of Art in Berlin’s prestigious art competition. Americans in the early 20th century showed in Despite being an ethnic minority, his artistic skill and his participation in the Civil War resulted in his award of this important project and it became his opus work, with over 30 life figures portraying life as he saw it as a young man in the American south. The figures portray various scenes including a young soldier receiving a minister’s blessing, a young woman tying a sash around the waist of her beloved and a scene of men marking in the ranks including a man with African features. Nowhere in America will this quality and diversity of sculptural art exist in an American military cemetery if it is removed. It is also the only beaux arts style memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Art Historian Catesby Leigh calls the removal “the ultimate win for cancel culture” and as such cannot be mitigated.
8. Removal is politically motivated and the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) must consider this. Democrat US Senator Elizabeth Warren opportunistically offered the amendment to the 2021 NDAA in the aftermath of the highly politicized police-involved death of George Floyd. Then Republican President Trump vetoed the 2021 NDAA on December 23, 2020, after the contested 2020 presidential election because it “includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military's history”. The Naming Commission finished its work and submitted it during the highly contested 2022 Congressional elections and the ensuing contest for Republican Speaker of the House. During the Biden administration, the oversight committee for Arlington National Cemetery was suspended from the period of February 2020 until November 2022, and the ACANC was not able to conduct its oversight responsibilities, providing input to the Secretary of the Army as required by law ( 10 USC 7723). These partisan politics and national tensions which led to the removal recommendation and Austin decision to adopt it without ensuring compliance with historical and environmental protection laws and regulations and outside of the remit of the Naming Commission must be considered as part of the EIS.
3. AREA OF POTENTIAL EFFECT (APE)
Background/Importance: The Army’s proposed “Area of Potential Affect is limited to a circular area that is limited to the boundaries of Arlington National Cemetery, and even excludes the Arlington House itself.
This is a huge issue because the actual Area of Potential Effect is the entire country, indeed, the entire world.
The Area of Potential Effect is too small because:
a) This Reconciliation Memorial is a part of the culture not only of America but the world. To say that the effect is limited to a small part of a cemetery is disingenuous. This Memorial is eligible to be a contributing object of its own historical significance in Arlington National Cemetery, which is a National Register Historic District, which is the only National Military Cemetery with that designation. Former Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb’s recent Op Ed in the Wall Street Journal shows how the memorial is a testament to how to re-unify a nation after a civil war. He used it with officials in Vietnam. If America cannot accept its own reconciliation, how can we promote it to other war torn cultures. The APE, as proposed, is just a small area inside the cemetery. This ignores the importance of the reconciliation message that America set by example for the world after our own bloody fratricidal war.
b) This memorial is part of the Washington Monumental Corridor Master Plan. The Monumental Corridor was part of the “American Renaissance” and North-South linkage promoted by renowned architects McMillan and Olmstead. They envisioned a “city beautiful” plan for Washington, DC that extended over the Potomac River into Virginia to Arlington House and the Cemetery. The bridge was to become a symbolic link between North and South from DC to Arlington and the addition of George Washington Memorial Parkway, punctuated with monuments and memorial evidenced this American Renaissance and to demonstrate to the world American unification. This beaux arts style memorial, is the most significant monumental artwork at Arlington is part of the American Renaissance which ignited in monumental art around the country., and as such is individually eligible for inclusion on the National Register. The entire Monumental Corridor, the Viewshed from Mount Vernon through to the Capitol must be included in the APE as they are part of the master plan and significant in the north-south reunification and the American Renaissance. The entire viewshed of the Washington Monumental core Master Plan should be included.
c) The Memorial Site has significance to Canada and other nations, and is eligible to be a UNSECO World Heritage Site. One of the graves in the plot marked by the memorial is of a Canadian citizen Jerry Cronan who was killed at the Battle of Spotsylvania. There were many more citizens of other nations who perished in service to one of the states represented on the Memorial. These other nations need to be identified and consulted as they are being impacted as well. Because of its significance in American history, Arlington House and the Arlington National Cemetery are eligible for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site. I wonder why this has not been done. But listed or not, the impact on the world and peoples of the world must be considered.
d) The Memorial site has significance to those buried at it. There are over 500 soldiers and widows buried at the memorial. Some were relocated there from other sections of Arlington, others from POW camps nearby before the Memorial was erected. However, others chose to be buried there, undoubtedly because of the new Memorial. Who is speaking for them? How can the government determine views of the dead. No impact study on this can ever be complete as the voices of the people who chose to be interred around the memorial cannot be heard. We shouldn’t be messing with these peoples graves.
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.
1 Ty Seidule, Robert E. Lee and Me, A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2020), 162.
3 Law Insider defines LYING as "the misrepresentation of one or more facts in order to gain a benefit or harm another person, where the actor knows or should know that the misrepresentation will be relied upon by another person." https://www.lawinsider.com/dictionary/lying, accessed 8-1-23. If a person lies about one thing they will lie about many things.
4 James McPherson, quoted in Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering, Death and the American Civil War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), xii.