I was surprised to hear people suggest that removing statues of Confederate traitors would somehow lead to us tearing down the Jefferson Memorial. That is patent bullshit.
Arguments attempting to equate slave owning founding fathers of the United States, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and their resultant memorials, with statues of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that are currently being removed across the nation are ridiculous. This fantastic article at Smithsonian.com describes how Arlington National Cemetery came to be, and why it is the perfect monument to the traitorous general who led an invasion of Pennsylvania in an attempt to preserve slavery on American soil.
Read the rest
While the Lees worked to reclaim Arlington, Meigs urged Edwin Stanton in early 1866 to make sure the government had sound title to the cemetery. The land had been consecrated by the remains buried there and could not be given back to the Lees, he insisted, striking a refrain he would repeat in the years ahead. Yet the Lees clung to the hope that Arlington might be returned to the family—if not to Mrs. Lee, then to one of their sons. The former general was quietly pursuing this objective when he met with his lawyers for the last time, in July 1870. "The prospect does not look promising," he reported to Mary. The question of Arlington's ownership was still unresolved when Lee died, at 63, in Lexington, on October 12, 1870.
His widow continued to obsess over the loss of her home. Within weeks, Mary Lee petitioned Congress to examine the federal claim to Arlington and estimate the costs of removing the bodies buried there.