Confederate memorial set to be removed from Arlington National Cemetery this week, officials say

Dec 17, 2023, 7:11 PM

The Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery is set to be removed this week. (Calla Kess...

The Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery is set to be removed this week. (Calla Kessler, The Washington Post/Getty Images)

(Calla Kessler, The Washington Post/Getty Images)

(CNN) — The Confederate Memorial at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia is set to be removed this week, officials said.

Arlington National Cemetery spokesperson Kerry Meeker told CNN in an email Sunday they anticipate the monument to be completely removed by Dec. 22.

The move is the latest action in the removal of Confederate symbols from US military facilities set forth by a Department of Defense directive issued last October.

The Army, which operates the cemetery, said on the cemetery’s website the process to prepare for the monument’s removal, which included an environmental assessment, was completed Saturday. The evaluation found removing it “will not have significant environmental impacts,” according to officials.

Officials said they will remove the bronze elements, which will be relocated.

Meeker said crews installed safety fencing around the monument and added the surrounding landscape, graves and headstones will be protected during the monument’s removal.

Cemetery officials said the statue’s granite base and foundation will stay at the site to “avoid disturbing surrounding graves.”

According to the cemetery’s website, Confederate remains weren’t allowed to be buried at Arlington until 1900, 35 years after the Civil War ended.

“By 1902, 262 Confederate bodies were interred in a specially designated section, Section 16,” the cemetery said. The total is now more than 400, according to the cemetery website.

According to the cemetery, the statue, which was designed by American sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel and unveiled in 1914, depicts a bronze woman atop a 32-foot-tall pedestal wearing a crown adorned with olive leaves, holding a laurel wreath, a plow stock, and a pruning hook. At her feet, a Biblical inscription reads, “They have beat their swords into plough-shares and their spears into pruning hooks,” the cemetery said.

Other figures on the monument include a Black woman depicted as a “Mammy,” carrying an infant of a white officer, and a Black man following his owner to war, according to the cemetery.

Not everyone is on board with the decision of the statue’s removal.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, has voiced his disappointment, said his spokeswoman Macaulay Porter, adding the governor plans to relocate it to the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park in the Shenandoah Valley, calling it a “fitting backdrop for Ezekiel’s legacy.”

Last September, the U.S. Congressional Naming Commission recommended the Confederate statue at the cemetery be removed.

The changes at Arlington National Cemetery come a year after West Point removed several Robert E. Lee items, which included a portrait and a stone bust of the Confederate general.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

South Cedar Street is underwater after days of heavy rain led to flooding in the area, Saturday, Ju...

Associated Press

Millions swelter as temperatures soar across the US, while floodwaters inundate the Midwest

Millions of Americans sweated through yet another scorching day as temperatures soared Sunday across the U.S., while residents were rescued from floodwaters that forced evacuations across the Midwest, including in an Iowa town where the flood gauge was submerged. One person was killed during flooding in South Dakota, the governor said.

4 hours ago

This image released by Disney/Pixar shows, from left, Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler, background left, ...

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

‘Inside Out 2’ scores $100M in its second weekend, setting records

The Pixar sequel collected $100 million in ticket sales in its second weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday, setting a new record for an animated movie in its follow-up frame in theaters.

8 hours ago

Apple's "By the Seaside" is perhaps one of the company's most controversial tunes, drawing the ire ...

Krystal Hur, CNN

Hate Apple’s ‘By the Seaside’ alarm tune? You’re not alone

Critics of the common alarm "By the Seaside" sound on Apple iPhones are speaking out.

16 hours ago

FILE: Two crop dusting airplanes collided near an airport in southern Idaho on Thursday, June 20, 2...

Associated Press

2 crop dusting airplanes collided in southern Idaho, killing 1 pilot and severely injuring the other

Two crop dusting airplanes collided near an airport in southern Idaho on Thursday and crashed to the ground, killing one of the pilots and leaving the other with life-threatening injuries, officials said.

1 day ago

A SkyWest Airlines jet approaches Salt Lake International Airport on Sept. 24, 2022. SkyWest announ...

Carter Williams,

Flights between St. George and Los Angeles to resume after 4-year delay

St. George-based SkyWest Airlines announced this week that daily flights between St. George Regional Airport and Los Angeles International Airport will return this fall, through United Express, one of SkyWest's different airline service partners.

2 days ago

The Supreme Court decided Friday to uphold a federal gun control law that is meant to protect victi...

Brian Carlson

Supreme Court upholds gun law intended to protect domestic violence victims

The Supreme Court decided Friday to uphold a federal gun control law that is meant to protect victims of domestic violence. The law prevents people with a domestic violence restraining order from having a gun.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Confederate memorial set to be removed from Arlington National Cemetery this week, officials say