The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution was reported desecrated on Friday, as attacks on monuments continued nationwide in association with Black Lives Matter protests.
The National Park Service is working to remove this graffiti on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution (at Washington Square) safely. We appreciate the offers to help that we’ve received, and we ask your patience while professional conservators continue this delicate task. Thank you for your encouragement and support.
The Problem: The wall of the monument is a very soft and porous limestone that’s susceptible to pitting and discoloration. To clean this stone without damaging it, we’ve tried non-abrasive steam cleaning and a gentle solvent. But, some paint on the wall remains.
The Solution: A professional stone conservator is now addressing this graffiti. The treatment saturates the painted stone with a mild solvent held in place by poultices (soft masses). After about two weeks, the stone’s appearance should improve.
The monument was erected in 1954 and stands atop ground that was used for paupers’ graves, as well as for soldiers who died during the American Revolution.
Engravings on the monument include phrases such as: “Freedom is a light for which many men have died in darkness.”
President Donald Trump warned in 2017 that he did not support the removal of Confederate statues because it would not stop there: “So this week, it’s Robert E. Lee, I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after. You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.