Removal of the Confederate Memorial
As required by Congress and implemented by the Secretary of Defense, Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) is required to remove the Confederate Memorial located in Section 16 of ANC. A process to prepare for the memorial's careful removal and relocation has been completed. All bronze elements of the memorial will be relocated. The granite base and foundation will remain in place to avoid disturbing surrounding graves.
In order to remove the Confederate Memorial, ANC had to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as well as with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). On Feb. 9, ANC initiated the Section 106 process by submitting a notification to the Virginia State Historic Preservation Office regarding its intent to remove the memorial in compliance with the DoD mandate. The first public meeting was held on Aug. 23, 2023. Click "Meetings," at left, to access transcripts, recordings and other materials from public and consulting party meetings.
Public engagement was an important part of NEPA and NHPA Section 106 compliance processes. Members of the public had opportunities to provide comment in public meetings and through comment collection. All comments received were considered. Army National Military Cemeteries completed NEPA and NHPA processes on Dec. 16, 2023, and will now move forward to implement the Congressional requirement to remove the bronze elements of the Confederate Memorial.
NEPA Process (Environmental Assessment)
On Dec. 16, 2023, the Army completed the NEPA process as part of the Congressionally-directed removal of the bronze elements of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. After fact gathering and analysis of potential impacts, the Army has published an Environmental Assessment (EA) addressing the discretionary elements of the proposed action, including how to disassemble the Confederate Memorial. The EA determined that the removal will not have significant environmental impacts. The Army has published a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) that reflects the EA’s determinations.
► Click here for more information, and to access the EA and FONSI.
NHPA Process (Section 106)
On Dec. 15, 2023, Army National Military Cemeteries (ANMC) completed the Section 106 process as part of the federally mandated removal of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. The process concluded with the execution of a Programmatic Agreement signed between ANMC, the Virginia State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). By carrying out the terms of the Agreement, the Army will fulfill its responsibilities under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and its implementing regulations, “Protection of Historic Properties” (36 CFR Part 800).
► Click here for more information and to access documents related to the NHPA Section 106 process.
► To learn more about the NEPA and NHPA process, including opportunities for public comment, click here or on the graphic below.
Congress directed the establishment of the Commission on the Naming of Items of the DoD that Commemorate the Confederate States of America or Any Person Who Served Voluntarily with the Confederate States of America (the Naming Commission) in section 370 of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21 NDAA).
The FY21 NDAA, section 370(a), requires that “[n]ot later than three years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall implement the plan submitted by [the Naming Commission] and remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America…or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America from all assets of the Department of Defense.”
The purpose of the proposed action is to remove from ANC a monument that commemorates the Confederate States of America. The need for the proposed action is to comply with non-discretionary congressional direction. The removal of the Confederate Memorial must be conducted in a manner that ensures the safety of the people who work at and visit ANC and that protects surrounding graves and monuments. The entire process, including disposition, must occur according to applicable laws, policies, and regulations.
• History of the Confederate Memorial
• Official Army Photos
• Official Army Video (B-roll)
• The Naming Commission Final Report to Congress, Part III: Remaining Department of Defense Assets
Any media inquiries related to this process should be directed to ANC's Public Affairs Office at 703-614-0024.