Congress may try to remove Robert E. Lee statue from Antietam Battlefield

Maryland

SHARPSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — The U.S. House of Representatives could vote this week to remove the Antietam Battlefield statue of Confederate War General Robert E. Lee.

After the 2017 racial unrest in Charlottesville there was an attempt to remove the statue, and again this year after the Minneapolis death of George Floyd at the hands of police there. Critics say the civil war memorial is a symbol of racism.

Maryland Democratic Congressman Anthony Brown and David Trone are behind the measure, saying that confederate monuments glorify slavery. The 24-foot likeness of General Lee on his horse was placed on private land in 2003, but the National Park Service acquired it for the battlefield site.

One visitor from Poolesville, Maryland to the site Tuesday said he would like to see the statue remain right where it is.

“I don’t know exactly where you stop in erasing history,” said Ed Hotard. “Robert E. Lee, it can be argued, certainly was on the wrong side of history, but he was very much a part of history.”

If the measure does pass the U.S. House it would then have to be approved by the Senate before being sent to the White House for the president’s signature.

The statue has twice been vandalized since June, once by painting the Black lives matter “b-l-m” letters on the monument.

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