West Point To Remove Tributes To The Confederacy

Via press release from West Point:

Long Gray Line Teammates and the West Point Community:

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.

These directives are based on the recommendations by the Congressional Naming Commission, mandated by the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) approved the Commission’s recommendations in October 2022 and directed implementation after an NDAA-mandated 90-day waiting period, that ended on December 18.

Over the past several weeks, a team of stakeholders and subject matter experts throughout the West Point enterprise developed a comprehensive plan that meets all of the Commission’s recommendations and complies with DoD directives.

Over the holiday break, we will take the following actions:

We will remove the portrait of Robert E. Lee in Confederate uniform from Jefferson Hall (the USMA Library) and place it in storage at the West Point Museum. Concurrently, we will move the accompanying portrait of Ulysses S. Grant from the library to Grant Hall.

We will remove the stone bust of Lee at Reconciliation Plaza and place it in storage on post, while moving the accompanying bust of Grant to the front of Grant Hall.

We will also remove the bronze triptych at the main entrance of Bartlett Hall and place in storage on post until a more suitable location is determined.

Over the next several weeks, in collaboration with the Class of 1957, West Point’s Memorialization, History, and Museum (MHM) Committee will select an appropriate quote about honor to replace the quote from Robert E. Lee at Honor Plaza.

We expect to change the quote by early Spring 2023.

Additionally, in collaboration with the Class of 1961, we will review the stone markers within Reconciliation Plaza that the Commission determined to commemorate the Confederacy and modify those markers with appropriate language and images that comply with the Commission’s recommendations, while still conveying the Plaza’s central message of reconciliation.

Once the modified language and images are approved, we will begin refacing the affected markers in early Spring 2023.

Lastly, by the end of this year, the MHM will recommend names to replace the streets, buildings, and areas throughout West Point currently named for individuals who served in the Confederacy.