Thursday, December 14, 2006

Arlington's Confederate Memorial

The Confederate Memorial on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, former home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The Arlington National Cemetery web site explains its presence by stating:

"In 1898, President McKinley delivered a speech before the Georgia legislature that urged the U.S. government to assume responsibility for the care of graves of Confederate dead. The first attempt at putting McKinley's idea into practice occurred at Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery. Encouraged by research and petitions presented by Confederate veterans in Washington, D.C., the federal government in 1900 agreed to reinter the Confederate dead buried in gravesites scattered in Washington-area cemeteries into a consolidated Confederate section at Arlington. The success of the experiment at Arlington ultimately led to legislation authorizing the War Department to assume the care of the graves of almost 30,000 Confederates buried in national cemeteries in the North.

This effort on behalf of the Confederate dead provides yet another avenue for studying sectional reconciliation in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By focusing on the valorous deeds of the dead, living veterans from both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line united in celebration of the common soldier. But though the good will created by reburial and re-marking projects was genuine, the Arlington experience also revealed the limits and complexities of sectional reconciliation. The dead were purposefully segregated within cemeteries, causation of the war was studiously ignored in memorial speeches, and white southern women refused to allow the government to interfere with their sacred trust in caring for Confederate graves in the South, all to maintain the careful equilibrium that allowed former Confederates and Yankees to coexist."

Dedicated in 1914, one of the monument's inscriptions reads:

"Not for fame or reward -
Not for place or for rank -
Not lured by ambition -
Or goaded by necessity -
But in simple -
Obedience to duty -
As they understood it
These men suffered all -
Sacrificed All -
Dared all - And Died"



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All original material Copyright © 2006. All Rights Reserved

Source: Arlington National Cemetery


Anonymous Judi said...

What a moving inscription.
I'm off to Florida tonight for Christmas with my son, so won't be checking your blog for a while. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

Friday, December 15, 2006  
Blogger Randy said...

I hope that you have a great Christmas with your family and that you enjoy all that this season was meant to be.



Friday, December 15, 2006  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I happened upon your blog and as a UDC member with many Confederate soldiers and officers and an elected official of the CSA in her ancestry, it moved me this morning to read this page - as it always does when I consider what all of these men sacrificed and the reasons for their doing so. Their duty to their countries "states" was foremost in their hearts. I am proud and blessed to have such a heritage - it should place a mantle of responsibility upon all of us who share it that we do not let their sacrifices and reasons therefor be forgotten. Thank you.

Thursday, June 30, 2011  

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