The Washington Post is now reporting on the agreement between Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the Virginia Military Institute to accept and relocate the Confederate Monument in Arlington National Cemetery to the New Market Battlefield, which it operates. The Board of Visitors at VMI—all appointed by Gov. Youngkin—unanimously approved the motion to accept the monument.
When the REL super-sized statue in Richmond's Monument Avenue was removed two years ago this month, an African American woman was quoted as saying that each time she had to walk past the statue, she felt oppressed. Even if it were just a racist graffito scrawled large on a wall, it would still be significantly hurtful.
Thus, I believe that images electronically preserved (e.g., on a hard drive) of such monuments are a minimalist and reasonable way to preserve the historical record.
I don't often quote from this tradition, but the maxim "Swords into Plowshares" strongly resonates to me in this and similar issues of Lost Cause statuary.
In this electronic age, the maxim might be updated to "Statues into Hard Drives".
And the Isaiah verse ending amended into "neither shall they teach racist war any more".
Youngkin (R) is being disingenuous by asking VMI to take this. The museum at New Market is clearly visible from Interstate 81 which will give it more exposure and will make all his MAGA voters happy. He’s running for president.
I’m actually disappointed by the plans to remove the confederate monument from Arlington’s National Cemetery.
Arlington is a microcosm (not sure that’s the correct word) of all things Civil War, or, at least many things Civil War. From the antebellum plantation and slavery, to the segregated burials of black troops, to McKinley’s approval of a separate confederate section as a bow to reconciliation, to the monument with its distinct lost cause symbolism, there are so many lessons to be learned and taught.
Earlier this year I took my two youngest grandsons to see the monument. After giving them a brief history of it, I told them they might not be able to see the monument again because it was going to be removed, and I explained why. The 10 year old said it was dumb to take it down because “it’s in the far back corner and that’s where it deserves to be.”
I think he has a point.
Perfect observation as to the lack of interpretation on the Stonewall monument. I stopped at New Market on the way to CWI this summer. I consider myself pretty astute and well read but had no idea that this is where the VMI monument landed. Not a single sign. I just found it odd to see a Stonewall Jackson monument proudly standing on a battlefield in which he didn’t fight. Missed opportunities for teaching.