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(The Abbeville Institute) – Despite being a young, developing discipline in America, historic preservation, as it continues to grow, is of vital importance to the very fabric of this nation. Historic lands, buildings, and monuments do not just represent a window into time that best exemplifies the quality of life and happenstance of the past but also offers a teaching opportunity for future generations. There is a strongly held conviction that preserving not just the properties and structures themselves, but ensuring the survival of the histories of those who created and lived is key to understanding our shared heritage. Yet, the question must be asked: “How long will America’s historical monuments remain standing with the day-to-day changing political tide that dictates what is to be racially offensive or socially acceptable?”
In spite of a historic preservation infrastructure that includes federal and state protection laws and numerous local preservation ordinances, the dangerously growing trend of removing Confederate monuments, cenotaphs, and namesakes has reached an all-time high with the current actions of the U.S. Army, namely Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, whose efforts to remove the Reconciliation Monument from Arlington National Cemetery grounds has evoked a philosophical, moral, and racial debate and battle. The Monument is a work of art – a masterpiece – designed by world-renowned Jewish sculptor, Moses Ezekiel. The Monument, eulogized by three sitting U.S. Presidents, is a monument that was intended to reconcile the differences between the North and South while honoring Confederate veterans buried on the grounds. It was meant to be an olive branch as Americans reunited through healing, solidarity, and a common maxim that we are all living and building towards a more…