May 25th, 2009
02:51 PM ET
13 years ago

WH places wreaths at Confederate, African-American memorials

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Following controversy over President Obama's decision to continue a presidential tradition of honoring Confederate war dead on Memorial Day, the White House confirmed Monday that a wreath will now also be placed at a monument to African-American Civil War dead.

Critics had called for an end to the longtime presidential practice of laying a wreath at the Confederate memorial. Last week, in a letter to Obama over the issue, roughly five dozen professors called the tradition offensive to African-Americans. In recent days, some observers had suggested the addition of the African-American memorial as a possible compromise.

On Monday morning, the president visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. A wreath was placed there, as well as four other sites honoring American war dead: the mast of the USS Maine; the Spanish American War Memorial; the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery; and the African-American Civil War Memorial in Washington, DC.

Filed under: President Obama
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