The Butchering at Arlington National Cemetery
Updated: Oct 13, 2022
The national press thundered after The Naming Commission issued Part III of its report that a panel "advises removal" of a Confederate monument at Arlington and that a monument to "slavery still stands." Both claims are entirely false: the Commission has recommended the destruction of the priceless monument, not its removal, and it is not a monument to slavery because a slave is depicted. The lies of the report were intended to create these sensationalist headlines to ensure, once again, that the Congress, the Department of Defense and the public do not ask any questions.
The Commission's analysis of the statue focuses on the reality that a slave is represented holding the child of a soldier. These scenes depict accurate representations of South: soldiers really did leave their families & some of those families held slaves. If the statue didn't include a slave, it would be criticized for ignoring slavery (as we also see with Northern monuments), but if it does include a slave, then it is a statue to slavery. Congress did not ask for or require this childish analysis from The Naming Commission--it appears to be included to encourage the press to repeat their assertions.
What does the statue actually represent? Peace and Reunion! The statue at the top, which the Commission wants to be smashed, is a clear sign of peace. When the sculptor, Moses Ezekiel, met with William H. Taft (a Republican from Ohio & the man who approved the project as the Secretary of War). Taft told him that "you have contributed a great deal to the peaceful solution of our affairs."
The real historian, who actually looked into Ezekiel's work closely, described the statue at the top of the monument this way:
On top of the monument a heroic-sized allegorical figure typifies the South. She holds in her extended right hand a laurel wreath with which to crown the dead; her left hand rests on a plowshare, and her head is crowned by olive leaves, symbolic of peace. The plinth upon which she stands is adorned with four cinerary urns, one for each war year. Below the plinth is a frieze of fourteen shields with the coat of arms of the states of the Confederacy. The inscription below the figure South is from Isaiah 2:4: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks”
Does this piece of the sculpture commemorate the Confederacy? No
Is this part of the statue offensive? No
Does this honor any man that voluntarily served in the Confederacy? No
Will the media cover the truth about the statue? No
The real historians of his memoirs go on to say:
As was his custom with his monuments, Ezekiel proceeded meticulously to reflect historic accuracy. His chisel wrote in bronze a literal, detailed history of “The New South’’ — symbolic of peace for a reunited living people and of honor for the Southern dead. “It is necessary,’’ he remarked, “to gather up and buy, or have made, or loaned, every real article I would need in the way of dress and trappings and details of all kinds, such as I would need in the modeling of a work of this nature.
The butchers on The Naming Commission demand that all of the bronze is destroyed. Why not move it to a museum? It appears that removing the monument's base would disturb actual gravesites. That isn't surprising because Moses Ezekiel is buried at the base--President Harding even gave a eulogy for him in 1921.
Unlike other Southern & Northern monuments, this is not in a town square, in front of a library, or on a courthouse. If you wish to see this monument, you must seek it out at Arlington National Cemetery. Even if you knew where it sits, most likely it would still take you 40 minutes to find. All of the arguments used against public monuments for the previous 5 years do not apply. The Naming Commission, therefore, felt to the need to lie about what the statue represents.
In section 370 of the 2021 NDAA, Congress authorized The Naming Commission to define grave markers for situations like we see at Arlington National Cemetery. This priceless sculpture, approved by Yankees, designed by one of the great Jewish artists of all time, cannot be relocated. Therefore, it should be designated as a grave marker and preserved. The recommendation to destroy this treasure of American history must be rejected and the Commission given its appropriate scorn.