As city and local governments around the country address concerns about controversial Confederate monuments, officials at the Gettysburg National Military Park say that the monuments in the Pennsylvania battlefield will remain in place.
“These memorials, erected predominantly in the early and mid-20th Century, are an important part of the cultural landscape,” said Katie Lawhon, a spokeswoman for the battlefield.
Gettysburg, the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War in 1863, represents the only major battle that occurred in the North. With more than 1,300 memorials at the park, and several streets named after soldiers on both sides, the battlefield serves as a museum.
The National Park Service is “committed to safeguarding these unique and site-specific memorials in perpetuity, while simultaneously interpreting holistically and objectively the actions… they commemorate,” according to their policy on battlefield monuments.
Other sites may not be as safe.
The mayor of Lexington, Kentucky announced Saturday that he is expediting plans to remove Confederate statues from public locations in the city.
In New York City, a plaque honoring Gen. Robert E. Lee that has been affixed to a maple tree outside a Brooklyn church for more than 100 years is being removed.
In California, a six-foot monument that has stood in a Confederate section of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for almost 100 years is now coming down.
Baltimore officials directed the removal of four Confederate statues from its city on Wednesday, completing the task overnight.
Those calling for the removal of “racist” memorials are now targeting a list of five statues:
- the 17th president of the United States, Andrew Johnson (D), a Democrat, who allowed the implementation of the Black Codes, which later became the vicious Jim Crow laws that perpetrated the depression of black political power for decades after the abolishment of slavery. A memorial to Johnson currently stands in Greenville, Tennessee.
- the 28th president of the United States, Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who maintained Princeton’s “long-standing ban on admitting blacks,” and, as president “sanctioned” attempts to instill “segregation into federal departments.” Princeton named its School of Public and International Affairs after him.
- renowned Democratic president Franklin Delanor Roosevelt, who interned Japanese prisoners in the United States, rounding up and holding Japanese Americans in captivity.
- Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson was outwardly racist, who said the [n-word] a lot and was outwardly racist, committing most of his life to defending white supremacy. Johnson is honored with the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac.
- Democratic Senator Robert C. Byrd, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and whose early votes in Congress reflected racially separatist views.
Dennis Michael Lynch, CEO of DML NEWS, took to Facebook LIVE on Wednesday to comment on the removals. DML said, “They want George Washington to come down. They want to erase history. But this will all backfire. Americans will have their say in the voting booth when it comes time to reelect Trump. But do not overlook where this is all headed. The big target for these people who are swinging bats and ripping down public property is Mount Rushmore. The liberals who are in love with Obama will demand Mt. Rushmore down unless Obama is put up as the fifth face. It will be the latest challenge to prove Americans are not racists. It never stops.”
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The family of Gen. Robert E. Lee speaks out