MIDDLETOWN, N.J. – The chapter of American History where the past is unceremoniously torn down, adds yet another page as Democrat members of the state Senate passed a measure to petition the U.S. Library of Congress to remove the statue of Gen. Phillip Kearny from the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall.
“The proposal to remove the statue of General Philip Kearny is an indignation and affront to every resident who values New Jersey’s rich history which includes his family,” said Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-Monmouth). “I was contacted directly by two of General Kearny’s great-great granddaughters who live in my district and have asked me to please prevent this from occurring.”
“However well-meaning intentions may be, the eradication of symbols from our rich historic past must be prevented. As an archaeologist and university professor, I have unique understanding of the importance of maintaining our history,” added Scharfenberger.
The move by the Democrat senators, who introduced the bill, seeks to remove General Kearny’s statue (the namesake of Kearny Township) and replace it with one of esteemed suffragist Alice Paul. But, the assemblyman said that while Paul’s distinction among American History ought to be heralded, it should not mean the removal of other figures important to history – rather an addition to them.
“Alice Paul, a giant in the fight for women’s suffrage, deserves to be lauded for her role in New Jersey’s development and history,” Scharfenberger continued, “and rightfully put in addition to the many already in place.”
He suggests veterans groups make their voices heard to not only protect the legacy of an American war hero who gave his life for his country, but ensure that a true patriot who fought for women’s rights gets a visible, permanent place in New Jersey’s public sphere.