There’s More Than Race Behind Statues

There's More Than Race Behind Statues

( – Art tells a bigger story than just what you see. Artists often pour their stories into their work, and statues are no different. That’s why the removal of these historical pieces all across the country is worrying many Americans.

As Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) calls for the removal of Confederate leader statues from US military bases and cemeteries, which could include those at Arlington National Cemetery, we must understand what this art truly means. The Confederate Memorial in that Arlington tells not just a story about our history, but about the artist too.

The Arlington Monument

Moses Jacob Ezekiel, the sculptor of this memorial, paved the way for others like him during his time. He was the first Jew to attend the Virginia Military Institute, and he graduated in 1866. Ezekiel also was one of the first Jewish sculptors ever to gain fame as the profession had been considered a violation of the Second Commandment for some time.

He paved the way for other Jewish artists to follow suit. During his years in the war, Ezekiel met with General Robert E. Lee and was encouraged to pursue his art when the war ended.

He was eventually sought out by many burial grounds to make statues, including the one in Arlington, Virginia. So, this statue not only shows a picture of a troubling part of US history that all Americans should know about, but it’s also a triumphant milestone for Jews hoping to make their way into the art scene.

Which History Would Be Remembered?

In a similar vein, General Lee himself commanded the Union Army for two days before resigning. Would some Americans be asking for his statue to be removed if he had stayed with the US Army?

Even the statue of an anti-slavery activist and leader of a Union regiment, Hans Christian Heg, was beheaded and drug around the city of Madison, Wisconsin. The statue itself stands clearly for freedom, but there’s even more than that here.

The sculptor, Paul Fjelde, carved a bust of Abraham Lincoln, which was gifted to Norway to celebrate their independence on July 4, 1914. The bust became a symbol of freedom in Norway and a gathering place to encourage each other that there would be an end to Nazi pressure in Europe.

Calling for statue removals could be a dangerous coverup of important American and world history. While not all of our history is beautiful, it’s worth remembering and teaching to the next generations. After all, those who do not know and understand history may soon repeat it.

~Here’s to Your Prosperity!

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