The New York Young Republican Club condemns the planned removal of the Confederate Memorial from Arlington National Cemetery. The Department of Defense and Arlington National Cemetery are fast approaching disgrace and sacrilege, as the Department has slated January 1, 2024 as the removal deadline for this historic memorial, which stands 32 feet tall among the graves of Confederate troops fallen in the Civil War.
The beautiful Confederate Memorial was erected in 1914 by the Jewish sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel, who considered it the “crowning achievement” of his career, and it has stood as a depictive memorial to American history and a reverential tribute to the more than 250,000 Confederate soldiers killed during the War of the States. Ezekiel also sculpted the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition Christopher Columbus statue, which stands to this day in Arrigo Park, Chicago, and the famous Religious Liberty statue, which now stands at the National Museum of American Jewish History. Ezekiel was the Michelangelo of his day, taking up a longtime studio in Rome and producing dozens of beautiful and now irreplaceable works of art.
The Confederate Memorial was erected when many veterans were still alive, and it served as an important healing tribute in post-war reconciliation. One must remember both sides of any conflict; any tampering with this tombstone, whose dead can no longer speak for themselves, is both sacrilegious and cowardly. It is also fundamentally un-American, demonstrating no tolerance or allowance for free speech.
That the American government now seeks to destroy this great sculptor’s finest work speaks to the craven and sordid mindset that infects its leadership and bureaucracy.
The Department of Defense has claimed this statue “offers a nostalgic, mythologized vision of the Confederacy,” clearly (and likely intentionally) missing the memorial’s spiritual, historical, and artistic significance. The Department wishes to tear open old wounds and trod on the graves of fallen Americans. The New York Young Republican Club condemns this callous and ugly behavior, which amounts to the un-personing of generations of American citizens.
This is the same Department of Defense that sports infamous weirdos like “Public Health” admiral “Rachel” Levine and Shawn Skelly, the “Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness,” among others. Over their tenure, the United States has become less healthy and ready, with these so-called leaders violating intrinsically the common military motto of a sound mind in a sound body. Such unsound minds in unsound bodies now seek to tarnish the great cultural artifacts, upend our heritage, and defile the graves of those great men who came before them.
This intended action mirrors grave desecrations in foreign nations, from Spain’s obscene expulsion of Francisco Franco from his long-term place of rest to the ongoing vandalism in Zimbabwe of Cecil Rhodes’s mountaintop tomb. All deserve round condemnation.
The New York Young Republican Club encourages continued resistance to the destruction of this important piece of art, history, and heritage. We call for the pursuit of its permanent preservation through legislative action.