An independent commission will recommend the destruction of an iconic and controversial Confederate statue at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, in a report it will submit to the US Congress later this month, a manager confirmed on Wednesday told AFP.
This document will mark the end of the work of this commission, which has already recommended renaming nine military bases after separatist officers who fought in defense of slavery during the Civil War (1861–1865). Was.
In this latest report, the commission has recommended renaming a thousand additional properties, including two military ships or playing fields, belonging to the military, commission’s vice chairman Ty Seidule told AFP on Wednesday.
The statue honoring the Confederate States at Arlington National Cemetery, established in 1914, depicts a woman adorned with a laurel wreath, an allegory of the American South before the Civil War.
“At the foot of the statue, there are two slaves who seem to be happy with their fate and that doesn’t show enough of the monstrosity of slavery. That’s a problem,” explained Mr. Cedule.
If the memorial statue is recommended to be destroyed by an independent commission, the graves of separatist soldiers, on the other hand, will remain in Arlington’s cemetery, where American military heroes will rest.
“The law on this subject is very clear, we don’t have authority, and we don’t want to move these bodies buried there more than a hundred years ago,” the commission’s vice chairman stressed.
The final decision on renaming all sites and properties will rest with the Pentagon. The total estimated cost of the operation is $62 million, the commission calculated.
The report comes amid growing awareness in the United States following the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, although the issue of places to honor Confederate generals remains a sensitive topic there.
Former Republican President Donald Trump had thus provided for the creation of a Defense Budget Commission in 2020, a veto eventually overridden by Congress.