Federal Judge Approves Removal of Confederate Memorial at Arlington Cemetery

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.20 - 2023 6:44 PM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Federal Judge Approves Removal of Confederate Memorial at Arlington Cemetery.

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A federal judge has ruled that the removal of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia can proceed.

This decision comes after groups attempting to halt the removal failed to demonstrate that keeping the monument served the public's best interest.

Judge's Ruling on the Memorial

According to CNN, US District Judge Ronnie D. Alston, in his ruling, stated, "Plaintiffs did not establish that a preliminary injunction is in the public interest."

He further addressed the plaintiffs' concerns about potential damage to gravesites during the removal process, saying, "Plaintiffs’ complaints regarding the removal efforts being likely to damage the gravesites are misinformed or misleading."

Background of the Memorial

The bronze statue, designed by American sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel and unveiled in 1914, features a woman atop a 32-foot-tall pedestal, adorned with symbols of peace and agriculture.

The monument also includes controversial figures, such as a Black woman depicted as a "Mammy" and a Black man following his owner to war.

The statue's removal is part of a broader initiative by the Department of Defense to eliminate Confederate symbols from US military facilities. Arlington National Cemetery had anticipated the monument's complete removal by the end of the week, as per spokesperson Kerry Meeker.

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