September 13, 2023

The Virginia Council Co-Signs Letter Opposing Planned Removal of Arlington National Cemetery Reconciliation Memorial

ALEXANDRIA—The Virginia Council (TVC) announced today it co-signed a Regulatory Response Letter with eleven other historic preservation groups strongly opposing the planned removal of the Reconciliation Memorial, built by preeminent internationally recognized Virginia artist Moses Ezekiel, from Arlington National Cemetery by the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Army.

"The planned removal of the Reconciliation Memorial is misguided and divisive," said John Reid, founding chairman of TVC. "Moses Ezekiel's beautiful memorial to those of the South who gave their lives was built to promote healing between Americans after our destructive Civil War. Removing it now, in a time of unprecedented polarization, will only serve to further vandalize our history, promote even more division between Americans, and dishonor the soldiers of the South who paid the ultimate price." 

The letter was submitted on Saturday, September 2, 2023, to Ms. Renea Yates, director of the Office of Army Cemeteries. 

The letter was organized by Defend Arlington, a group that has been spearheading the effort to halt the planned removal. 

The opposition stems from several violations of federal law. The letter informs the U.S. Army that it "must not take additional actions to remove the Memorial until [certain] important legal and procedural requirements are met."

TVC believes if this removal is not stopped, it will send a chilling message that the long-standing policy of the United States government—to protect our nation's historic landmarks—has been nullified and that government officials need not respect the rule of law.

ABOUT THE VIRGINIA COUNCIL: The Virginia Council is a citizen’s initiative of Common Sense Society, made up of Virginians who are passionate about preserving the traditions that make us distinctly Virginian and advancing civil discourse and the rule of law so that all citizens of the Commonwealth can prosper.

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 For more information, contact Robert Moore at [email protected].

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