ARLINGTON, Va. (DC News Now) — On Wednesday night, Arlington National Cemetery held a virtual public scope meeting to discuss the proposed removal of the Confederate Memorial that has stood in Section 16 of the burial site for more than 100 years.
It’s the latest step before removal, which the cemetery said is required by Congressional action, after the governing body approved the founding of the Naming Commission.
The Commission was authorized to study items of the Department of Defense that commemorated the Confederate States of America.
The 30-foot bronze statue stands atop a three-foot granite pedestal. The female figure at the top represents the Confederacy. It is a “nostalgic, mythologized version of the Confederacy, including highly sanitized depictions of slavery,” account to the cemetery’s site.
More than 100 people signed up to speak during the meeting, many from outside of the region and supportive of the Confederacy.
“The history of the memorial, where it stands, what it represents, cannot be adequately replicated at any other location because no other location holds the same significance as Arlington National Cemetery,” a speaker at the meeting, Robert Floyd, said.
There’s also a legal component to the removal of the statue. The Washington Post reported Confederacy groups sued the federal government over the statue’s removal. The case is now in a D.C. federal court.
Last month, the government sought to dismiss the case because the statue’s removal was required by law.