Jul 13, 2023

The Fight Over a Confederate Statue in Arlington National Cemetery

When Judith Ezekiel was five years old, her grandfather drove her and her two brothers to Arlington National Cemetery, to see a statue made by their relative.

Moses Jacob Ezekiel, Judith’s cousin four times removed, was a renowned Jewish sculptor in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. His most famous work, what he called the “crowning achievement” of his career, has stood inside Arlington since 1914: the Confederate Memorial.

“My grandfather was quite proud of his artistic prowess,” Ms Ezekiel says. At some point in their childhoods, Judith says, he took all 15 of his grandchildren to see Ezekiel’s work.

The monument, a bronze statue and plinth on top of a granite base, commemorates the men who fought and died for the slave-holding southern states in the US Civil War.

For more than a century, this statue commemorating the Confederacy has stood inside Arlington – known as America’s most sacred shrine. Overlooking Washington DC across the Potomac river, it hosts some 400,000 graves: US soldiers, sailors, astronauts, actors, and even two presidents.

But by next year, by order of the US government, the monument must be removed. The decision is part of an ongoing movement to rethink how the US remembers the Confederacy.

You can read more in an article by Toby Luckhurst of BBC News at: