(Patriot.Buzz) – Amidst strong opposition from Republican lawmakers and an organization demanding the preservation of historically relevant monuments, a federal judge in Virginia has issued a temporary restraining order halting the removal of a Confederate memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.
The memorial, crafted in 1914 by Moses Jacob Ezekiel, a Confederate veteran and the first Jewish graduate of Virginia Military Institute, features a bronze statue of a woman on a 32-foot pedestal surrounded by various life-sized figures, including an enslaved African American woman holding an infant.
The Arlington National Cemetery’s website describes the memorial as representing the “Lost Cause” narrative of the Civil War.
The temporary halt to the memorial’s removal was prompted by a lawsuit filed by Defend Arlington, which seeks to preserve the monument. This legal action came after the Naming Commission, established by a Democratic-led Congress, recommended the removal of the memorial as part of a broader initiative to rename and remove symbols, installations, and monuments associated with the Confederacy.
The debate surrounding the memorial intensified with over 40 Republican Congress members sending a letter to the Department of Defense, advocating for the memorial’s preservation. Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin also supported keeping the statue, arguing for its historical significance and as a symbol of post-Civil War reconciliation rather than as a celebration of the Confederacy.
Defend Arlington’s lawsuit states that removing the memorial would not only desecrate it but could also potentially damage nearby grave sites and impede its eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The group also claims that the Department of Defense failed to conduct a necessary environmental review.
The Naming Commission, formed in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the ensuing national leftwing narrative concerning Confederacy monuments, has been active in renaming military installations previously named after Confederate figures. For example, Fort Bragg in North Carolina was renamed Fort Liberty.
Judge Rossie D. Alston swiftly scheduled a hearing, specifying that the injunction would lapse the same day in the afternoon.