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A monument to Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery is the latest monument targeted by a military renaming commission tasked with erasing references to the Confederacy from the U.S. military.
“It’s problematic from top to bottom,” retired Brig. Gen. Ty Seidule, vice chairman of the Naming Commission, said at a press conference Tuesday, according to a report by Military.com.
The Arlington Statue, a bronze and granite monument that depicts southern soldiers marching into battle as black slaves holding a white soldier’s baby follow, was built in 1914. But, 108 years later, the Naming Commission recommends to Congress that the statue be removed. to its granite base plate.
The decision is part of the commission’s final report to lawmakers, which also included recommendations to change the name of the Navy’s USS Chancellorsville and USNS Maury.
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The USS Chancellorsville was named after a Civil War battle in which the Confederacy emerged victorious, considered one of General Robert E. Lee’s most legendary battlefield victories. USNS Maury is named after an oceanographic pioneer and naval officer who joined the South Side during the Civil War.
“What did they say when they ordered the ship? We looked at what was in the meeting room, and there were pictures of Lee and Jackson in the meeting room, and that has since been taken down. “, Seidule said of the USS Chancellorsville. “So we looked at the whole context and felt like it commemorated Confederation, like a unanimous decision among the eight commissioners.”
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The commission’s work focused primarily on naming bases that honor Confederate leaders, including Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and Fort Benning, Georgia. The commission recommended new names for these military bases.
Congress created the commission in 2020 after lawmakers overruled a veto by former President Trump, who opposed renaming bases that honor Confederate leaders.
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The changes are expected to be completed by 2024, although commission members acknowledged that changing base names will be one of the more complicated undertakings in the military.
“There are places where secretaries can go pretty quickly,” retired Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, a commissioner, said during Tuesday’s briefing. “Maybe the basics will take time.”