West Point military academy to remove Robert E. Lee portrait, bust

Officials at West Point military academy have announced plans remove a portrait of Robert E. Lee in Confederate uniform as well as a bust of the general.

“During the holiday break, we will begin a multi-phased process, in accordance with Department of Defense (DoD) directives, to remove, rename or modify assets and real property at the United States Military Academy (USMA) and West Point installation that commemorate or memorialize the Confederacy or those who voluntarily served with the Confederacy,” Lt. Gen. Steven W. Gilland wrote in a letter posted on West Point’s website.

“In the case of those items that were class gifts (specifically, Honor Plaza and Reconciliation Plaza), we will continue to work closely with those classes throughout this process,” Gilland wrote. “Any costs associated with the Commission’s recommendations will be resourced within the Department of Defense.”

The changes are in accordance with directives laid out by Congressional Naming Commission in the defense authorization bill for 2021. The directive was made in response to the 2020 racial justice protests.

Gen. Lee led the Confederacy in the Civil War. Statues of Lee have been targeted the most in recent statue and monument removals.

Among the items that will be removed from the military academy include a portrait of Lee in the academy’s library, a bust of Lee at Reconciliation Plaza, and a quote from Lee at Honor Plaza.




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