Commonwealth Policy Center

An advisory committee in Washington DC recommended to the mayor that the city strip the names of several historical figures from public places. The committee told DC Mayor Muriel Bowser that parks, schools, and playgrounds named after Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Ben Franklin, and Francis Scott Key, among others, should change their names because those figures were either racist or slaveholders. The committee also recommended that statues be “contextualized” to further explain any sins of those honored. This highlights the worst of our Founders while neglecting the good they achieved. Abe Lincoln once said, “any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.” And for Americans, our heroes—as flawed as they were, put together a nation that’s still a beacon of hope to the world—and that’s worth remembering.