Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Monday that monuments should be learning opportunities and should not be destroyed.
“I’m one that believes that we should learn from history, and I think our monuments are part of our country’s history. We can learn from history. Since we don’t put up statues of Jesus, everyone is going to fall morally short. I think reflecting on our history, both good and bad, is a powerful statement and part of our DNA,” Mr. Zinke said on Fox News.
Several monuments commemorating Confederate soldiers were taken down in wake of violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the summer. The protest between neo-Nazi, Klansman and white supremacist groups and anti-protest demonstrators over a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee resulted in the death of three people.
“I’m an advocate of, again, learning from our monuments, understanding the period they were made, but also we live in a great country. Monuments are not Republican or Democrat or independent. The monuments are a tribute to all of us,” he said.
Mr. Zinke is at the memorial for United 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Monday to commemorate the annual anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The airplane landed in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers stormed the cockpit and attacked the terrorists onboard. There is now a memorial at the site of the crash.
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