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February 28, 2024

Congressman David Trone Leads Maryland Democrats in Introducing Bill to Remove Robert E. Lee Monument from Antietam National Battlefield


February 28, 2024

Congressman David Trone Leads Maryland Democrats in Introducing Bill to Remove Robert E. Lee Monument from Antietam National Battlefield

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman David Trone was joined by his colleagues Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Jamie Raskin, and Glenn Ivey (all D-Md.) in introducing the Robert E. Lee Monument Removal Act to remove a monument of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Antietam National Battlefield. 

The statue was installed by a private citizen on private property in 2003 and has remained on the property after the National Park Service acquired the land in 2005 and incorporated it into Antietam National Battlefield. The Battle of Antietam proved pivotal in ending the Confederate Army’s first invasion into the North and led President Abraham Lincoln to issue the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

“I’m honored to represent the district where Antietam National Battlefield resides, but this hallowed ground must reflect the sacrifices of the brave patriots who defended our country and fought for the freedom of all Americans,” said Congressman Trone. “I thank my colleagues for joining me in this effort to ensure Antietam honors our nation’s victory over the Confederacy rather than memorializes historical figures who fought to break up the Union and restrict fundamental human rights.”

“Displays in our national parks should be reserved for Americans and patriots who reflect our country’s democratic principles – and be historically accurate,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “I am proud to join Congressman Trone and my Maryland colleagues in seeking to remove this statue, installed by a private citizen on formerly private land, and ask the Secretary of the Interior to restore the site in an historically appropriate way.”

“Representing our nation’s history accurately is important. I believe the Secretary of the Interior will remove and replace the Robert E. Lee statue in an appropriate way. Keeping our landmarks and national parks true to the history of our country is part of understanding our past and acknowledging the importance of building towards our shared future. This bill will help us on the path towards that goal,” said Congressman Ivey.

“The Battle of Antietam marked a pivotal moment in the Civil War and, ultimately, our nation’s history as it led to President Lincoln’s preliminary issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation five days later,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “Such an historic site, where men died to advance justice and equality, should not memorialize Robert E. Lee – a man who fought vehemently to uphold slavery. I am proud to join this legislation calling for the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue from the Antietam National Battlefield. In our pursuit of a more perfect union, we must honor those who stood on the right side of history – not those who sought to hold us back.”

“Here in the 21st century, it’s time to stop honoring Confederate traitors to the Union, a practice that demeans our history and our values,” said Congressman Raskin. “I’m glad to again join my Maryland colleagues in introducing this legislation to remove the Robert E. Lee Monument from the Antietam National Battlefield, where it sits on public land. Let’s end this strange practice of exalting the military and political enemies of the United States.”

“As a proud original cosponsor of this bill, I am happy to support the Robert E. Lee Monument Removal Act which seeks to rectify historical inaccuracies and eliminate symbols that may perpetuate division. We should ensure that our national parks accurately reflect the values of unity and equality that we hold dear as a nation. We will not honor those who sought to divide us,” said Congressman Kweisi Mfume.

For bill text, click here.

For one-pager, click here.

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Budget, and Joint Economic Committees. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders.

Follow Congressman Trone at @RepDavidTrone for updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.