Arlington National Cemetery's Confederate Memorial
In the early 20th-century, five decades after the end of the Civil War, a statue was commissioned by the federal government for Arlington National Cemetery to stand tall over the graves of deceased Confederate soldiers. This was no glorification of the Confederacy, but rather a symbol of healing. As many of the last of the Civil War veterans were dying out, a symbol was created to show nation had moved beyond its deadliest conflict (one that remains so to this day). No longer was their a division between countrymen, between Northerner & Southerner. Rather, all were Americans. Both Republican President Taft and his successor Democrat Woodrow Wilson both praised the effort to show national unification.
At the end of 2023, the Biden Administration removed the statue, a symbol of national unity. What does this act symbolize?