Skip to Content

Press Releases

Rep. Clyde Urges DOD to Halt Plans to Remove Reconciliation Monument

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Andrew Clyde (GA-09) led over 40 of his House Republican colleagues in sending a letter to Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Lloyd Austin demanding that the DOD immediately suspend all removal activities related to the Reconciliation Monument located in Arlington National Cemetery until Congress completes the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 appropriations process.


While the congressional Naming Commission, established by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021, recommended removing the memorial, the lawmakers note that the House included Rep. Clyde’s amendment to H.R. 4365, the FY 2024 Department of Defense Appropriations bill, to prohibit the use of funds to enforce this recommendation.


As its removal does not align with the original intent of Congress, the House of Representatives took action to prevent the removal of the Reconciliation Monument in the Fiscal Year 2024 Department of Defense Appropriations Act. The Department of Defense must comply with this request or risk denigrating the delicate balance of the principles of separation of powers between Congress and the Executive, outlined in the Constitution.”


Additionally, the lawmakers, led by Rep. Clyde, highlight the monument’s history and intended purpose.


In 1898, following the Spanish-American War, where Union and Confederate veterans fought side-by-side under one flag, President William McKinley declared in the heart of the South, Atlanta, Georgia, that the U.S. government would commit to sharing in the burden of honoring and properly burying the Confederate dead, stating, ‘sectional feelings no longer holds back the love we feel for each other. The old flag waves over us in peace with new glories.’ In 1900, Congress authorized Confederate remains to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and in 1906, Secretary of War, William Howard Taft, permitted construction of a monument honoring our country’s new shared reconciliation from its troubled divisions. Finally, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson unveiled this new memorial to national unity – designed by a Jewish-American sculptor, the memorial is topped with a woman crowned by an olive wreath to symbolize peace.”


Due to the Reconciliation Monument’s historical significance, it is customary for the President of the United States to send a wreath to the memorial.


This tradition, which demonstrates tremendous national unity and respect, has been carried on regardless of the party or politics of the sitting President. Even President Barack Obama understood the importance of the Reconciliation Monument in the context of what it stands for, unity not division, when he continued the presidential tradition of sending a wreath to the monument in 2009.”


Furthermore, the lawmakers argue that the Reconciliation Monument does not meet the Naming Commission’s criteria for removal.


The Reconciliation Monument does not honor nor commemorate the Confederacy; the memorial commemorates reconciliation and national unity. Furthermore, the Naming Commission’s authority explicitly prohibits the desecration of grave sites. Considering the hundreds of gravestones encircling the monument, it would be impossible for these graves to remain untouched if the Department of the Army proceeds with its proposed removal of the monument – both being a clear violation of Congress’ enacted statute and legislative intent.”


Full text of the letter is available HERE.


Read Fox News Digital’s exclusive on Rep. Clyde’s letter HERE.


Co-signers include Representatives Robert Aderholt (AL-04), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Dan Bishop (NC-08), Eric Burlison (MO-07), Ken Calvert (CA-41), Jerry Carl (AL-01), John Carter (TX-31), Ben Cline (VA-06), Michael Cloud (TX-27), Eli Crane (AZ-02), Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Chuck Edwards (NC-11), Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03), Russell Fry (SC-07), Bob Good (VA-05), Lance Gooden (TX-05), Paul Gosar (AZ-09), Sam Graves (MO-06), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Harriet Hageman (WY-At-Large), Andy Harris (MD-01), Clay Higgins (LA-03), Wesley Hunt (TX-38), Ronny Jackson (TX-13), Anna Paulina Luna (FL-13), Lisa McClain (MI-09), Alex Mooney (WV-02), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Andy Ogles (TN-05), August Pfluger (TX-11), Bill Posey (FL-08), Mike Rogers (AL-03), John Rose (TN-06), Matt Rosendale (MT-02), David Rouzer (NC-07), John Rutherford (FL-05), Keith Self (TX-03), Dale Strong (AL-05), Tom Tiffany (WI-07), Randy Weber (TX-14), Rob Wittman (VA-01), and Ryan Zinke (MT-01).

Office Locations

Office Locations

Washington, DC Office 445 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-9893
Fax: (202) 226-1224
Gainesville District Office 210 Washington St NW, Suite 202
Gainesville, GA 30501
Phone: (470) 768-6520
Map of U.S. Representative Andrew Clyde's office locations