With the Thanksgiving of 2023 in the rearview mirror, I am still thankful for the over 9000 Americans who submitted comments around the removal of the Confederate Memorial in Arlington Cemetery. Only 10% of the comments supported the decision to remove the memorial. Over eight thousand Americans wrote in defense of the Confederate Memorial, and over 364 people mentioned grave disturbance specifically which I wrote about in August (see The Most Effective Way – Abbeville Institute ). I am thankful for the Abbeville Institute publishing my voice. The Confederate Memorial plinth over the unknown graves will remain. But its bronzes are deep in the crosshairs.

Despite the overwhelming public response, the United States Army and Arlington National Cemetery are hellbent on appeasing the destructive minority. The public comment period for the environmental assessment on the Confederate Memorial’s bronze removal is open and ends December 2nd 2023. You can find it here: NEPA (arlingtoncemetery.mil) I freely give all rights to the below, should you choose to copy and paste my work as your own comment.

By ignoring the majority, which the U.S. Army admits in their conclusion, they are likely running afoul of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In 1978, the President’s Council of Environmental Quality issued regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508) to implement NEPA. These regulations are binding on all federal agencies. The regulations address the procedural provisions of NEPA and the administration of the NEPA process, including the preparation of environmental impact statements. Reading directly from the federal statute, we find:

“The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is a procedural statute intended to ensure Federal agencies consider the environmental impacts of their actions in the decision-making process. Section 101 of NEPA establishes the national environmental policy of the Federal Government to use all practicable means and measures to foster and promote the general welfare, create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans. Section 102(2) of NEPA establishes the procedural requirements to carry out the policy stated in section 101 of NEPA. In particular, it requires Federal agencies to provide a detailed statement on proposals for major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. The purpose and function of NEPA is satisfied if Federal agencies have considered relevant environmental information, and the public has been informed regarding the decision-making process. NEPA does not mandate particular results or substantive outcomes. NEPA’s purpose is not to generate paperwork or litigation, but to provide for informed decision making and foster excellent action.” (see eCFR :: 40 CFR Part 1500 — Purpose and Policy)

The United States Army acknowledges more than a third (36% of public comment) “expressed concerns with destroying history”, 13% “stated that removal of the monument was disrespectful” and 8% “thought removal of the monument was counter to the spirit of reconciliation”. By ignoring and rejecting these conclusions, the United States Army violates its own statute which is to “create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony”. There is nothing harmonious about ripping bronze off a plinth. We know it often ends in fire, molten graven images and memes as seen in the Robert E. Lee statue melt from October.

The United States Army calls for a crane to roll over the graves of unknown dead to perform the bronze removal. Yet the public has not been “informed regarding the decision-making process” here and so NEPA appears to have been violated. Why a crane? All relevant parties know war dead lie below a crane’s heavy tread. An environmental impact study — of the dripping diesel, of the countless boots (legal or not) trotting over names they never learned — has not been performed for removal of the bronzes. Why shouldn’t the bronzes be removed by hand, carefully, dutifully? Such delicacy occurred in the removal of the A.P. Hill memorial, which still failed to bring peace and harmony to the streets of Richmond.

This federal statute calls out to us across the Paperwork Reduction Act: “NEPA’s purpose is not to generate paperwork or litigation” . Yet this is exactly what the U.S. Army has done, further violating NEPA. With all the issues plaguing Arlington National Cemetery, from erosion to overgrowth on graves to the lack of continuous bikelanes (the bikelane leading you into the cemetery ends abruptly in a tuft of grass), the very purpose of the monument removal appears to be generating paperwork (over 9000 public comments!) and litigation. So the United States Army has frustrated its purpose and should cease all attempt to remove the monument now. 

NEPA further states “The regulations in this subchapter are also intended to ensure that Federal agencies conduct environmental reviews in a coordinated, consistent, predictable and timely manner, and to reduce unnecessary burdens and delays.” (see eCFR :: 40 CFR Part 1500 — Purpose and Policy) What is more unpredictable than ignoring 90% of all public comment received, as the United States Army has done? What is less consistent than ignoring 90% of Americans who care about this issue, as the United States Army has done? What is more burdensome, to crawl through over 9000 public comments to hold up just 10% of all comments received as some sort of beacon of justification? NEPA appears to have been violated here too.

NEPA directs the United States Army to “exhaust” itself in finding alternatives. Rest assured federal soldiers, no need to exhaust yourselves, simply STOP your march towards Marxism and leave the monument alone! Once again it seems the United States Army has forgotten or ignored its federal mandate: “The draft and final environmental impact statements shall include a summary of all alternatives, information, and analyses submitted by State, Tribal, and local governments and other public commenters for consideration by the lead and cooperating agencies in developing the draft and final environmental impact statements.” (eCFR :: 40 CFR 1502.17 — Summary of submitted alternatives, information, and analyses. ) . The alternative of simply leaving well enough alone seems to have disappeared from the pages of every report, draft or final.

“It is the Council’s intention that any actions to review, enjoin, stay, vacate, or otherwise alter an agency decision on the basis of an alleged NEPA violation be raised as soon as practicable after final agency action to avoid or minimize any costs to agencies, applicants, or any affected third parties.” Here, in public comment, is the action to review, enjoin, stay, vacate and otherwise alter the agency’s decision to remove the bronzes on the basis of the above alleged NEPA violations. This allegation has been raised as soon as practicable.

Sara Sass

Sara Sass is an attorney in Virginia.


  • Earl Starbuck says:

    They are lawless, Godless fanatics.

  • Lafayette Burner says:

    Is the act of removing insurrectionists’ monuments Constitutional? Is the act of removing insurrectionists’ monuments expedient? If you recall how the answers to those similar questions played out for the admission of a western Virginia state into the Union, if it ever really was,… then you’ll know exactly how this will play out.

    Ignore what you want. Simply declare all alternatives exhausted and proceed.

    Noting that with every action there is equal and opposite reaction, what the Wheeling cohort failed to consider was that they were dealing 1870 Confederate Virginians, West & East, the possibility of 4 US Senators. Rest assured, that in this case concerning monuments, the US Army is failing to war game all possible outcomes of destroying history.

  • William Quinton Platt III says:

    Slavery was good. It settled trade imbalances and moved genetic information over the oceans. THERE WERE ZERO SLAVE UPRISINGS DURING THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES while yankee armies were plundering, burning, and abandoning tens of thousands of weapons on hundreds of battlefields all the while encouraging slaves to rise up and kill their masters. Zero. Slave. Uprisings.

    Free blacks volunteered to fight for the Confederacy by the tens of thousands just as the Five Civilized Tribes filled Confederate ranks. They knew where freedom lay. Tens of thousands of former slaves were impressed into yankee armies…or face imprisonment and starvation.

    Yankees came South after the War, disenfranchised White Southern males, stole all they could steal and then left the South at war with itself for generations.

    Soon, the internet will discover the Corwin Amendment. And that will be all she wrote…

    • Gordon says:

      Here’s your chance. Explain how popular knowledge of the Corwin Amendment will garner fairness and good will for the South’s cause. Truth has no effect on naked contempt Leftist elites have for anything Confederate. The views of the Great Emancipator are well known to anyone with familiarity beyond the traditional classroom portrait and, indeed, Lincoln has seen cancellation recently; dead letter legislation won’t change allegiances and purposes of Harvard professors or naming commissions.

      The internet has been the near death of us. There was a decade of myth and narrative disseminated through the masses, the preponderance of which never cared one way or the other, before we knew what hit us. Anecdotally, there seems more and more on public forums saying “I never knew that” so at least we’re pushing back.

      • William Quinton Platt III says:

        There was a hint of sarcasm in my post. But, at this moment in time, you, dear reader, can go to the internet and pull up Harper’s Weekly, 10 Jan 1863 and discover why harvard researchers have had to admit there were blacks who fought willingly for the Confederacy. I first saw a copy of the paper when I was 12…and that was a long time ago for a human…in the past few years I’ve shown it to hundreds of people who were interested in truth. I’m not saying you can change the heart and minds of someone who will not examine your case, but there are those among us who truly want to learn for themselves what they should believe. It is as easy as using your lying opponents lies against them to present the truth.

        If slavery was horrible and the north wanted to end slavery, why did the northern congress pass the Corwin Amendment? Why did Lincoln send it to the States with his endorsement? Why did five of them ratify almost immediately, and not all of those States were slave States? Remember, the seven Cotton States were OUT OF THE UNION at this point. THE CORWIN AMENDMENT WASN’T PASSED TO BRING THEM BACK IN…IT WAS PASSED TO KEEP THE REMAINDER OF THE SLAVE STATES IN THE UNION. And they could keep their slaves.

        The Corwin Amendment is what I point to when people say the matter is settled. “But it was never ratified”, they say. Does that fact mean the legislation was some minor, pointless exercise? Or, does it say, when all was said and done, the north really didn’t give a hang about the slaves and just wanted to keep cheap cotton flowing to their factories? All admit it has been buried…no one I’ve talked to had already heard about it and found it irrelevant to the conversation.

        You’re never going to change some people…they are globoccultists and they want the US at war with itself. They want a true civil war…to do to the US what the communists did to Russia in 1917 and tried to do to Germany in 1921 (the war never really ended though, did it?) and did to the Chinese in the 1940s and to the Koreans in the 1950s and to the Vietnamese in the 1960s…etc. I’m talking to the few who come here knowing they’re lied to constantly and want to see how many layers there are to the onion.

        Smithsonian Magazine (globoccultists) Jan/Feb 2023 had an article entitled, THE DOCTOR AND THE CONFEDERATE. If you read this article, you will be amazed at the push against the tide it represents…black History Month…an article sympathetic to the owner of a slave.

        I promise you this one fact. The owners of the internet never expected it to be used against their narrative. But in the rush to add content to the web, they opened Pandora’s box.

  • Gordon says:

    I’d seen previous posts and figured mention of the Corwin Amendment encompassed voluminous and readily available evidence to support the Southern states’ moral, political and legal right to government of their choosing. I agree the internet is essential to any strategy in spreading the truth but I’m not exactly sanguine about our chances of far reaching success. We’re faced with such pervasive and profound ignorance we’re usually not given a hearing. The people with oversight are anything but ignorant but are as rigid and cold-blooded as the people in the current administration who have thrown the border open. They take their blows, shrug it off and keep with the ongoing transformation. As long as K-12 is administered to produce compliance, we’ll always be fighting rearguard actions. I haven’t given up though and suspect we agree about everything else.

    Your mention of The Doctor and the Confederate has a familiar ring. The story was featured in a recent CONFEDERATE VETERAN magazine, subtitled, “A Friendship Which Stood the Test of Time”. The VETERAN’s version doesn’t question devotion of Kirby Smith and Dr. Darnes for each other. Heck, one of my all-time favorite people was the grandson of a former slave owned by my family, still living on ancestral land. He was just a good ol’ boy and framed on the wall in his house was a picture of a bearded Old Rebel, saying, “FORGET, HELL!”.

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