The National Parks Service has a message for America: We will not remove any Confederate statues from our country’s national parks — and the country’s best-known Civil War battlefield is making that crystal clear.
Less than one week after a group of white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the removal of a monument depicting Robert E. Lee, U.S. parks officials aren’t holding back words about their plans for monuments.
“The National Park Service is committed to safeguarding these unique and site-specific memorials in perpetuity, while simultaneously interpreting holistically and objectively the actions, motivations, and causes of the soldiers and states they commemorate,” the parks service said in a statement, according to Penn Live.
Gettysburg National Military Park spokeswoman Katie Lawhon said that in the wake of the Charlottesville rally, the park has received no requests to remove their monuments, but even if it did, those requests would not be considered.
Lawhorn explained her position in a well-written email published by WGAL in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Its clarity is simply stunning:
“Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects, and interprets one of the best-marked battlefields in the world. Over 1,325 monuments, markers, and plaques, commemorate and memorialize the men who fought and died during the battle of Gettysburg and continue to reflect how that battle has been remembered by different generations of Americans. Many of these memorials honor Southern states whose men served in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
“These memorials, erected predominantly in the early and mid-20th century, are an important part of the cultural landscape. The National Park Service is committed to safeguarding these unique and site-specific memorials in perpetuity, while simultaneously interpreting holistically and objectively the actions, motivations, and causes of the soldiers and states they commemorate.”
Calling the memorials “an important part of the cultural landscape” summarizes the case perfectly. And the use of the words “committed … in perpetuity” makes it clear that idea isn’t going to change.
History should be remembered and serve as a lesson for future generations, not eradicated. The national parks should be applauded for taking a stand in favor of remembering American history.
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