Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinOvernight Defense & National Security — US tries to deter Russian invasion of Ukraine Senate eyes plan B amid defense bill standoff Senators propose sanctions against Iran over alleged plot to kidnap US journalist MORE (D-Md.) defended decisions to remove Confederate monuments on Sunday as "not changing history."
Around the country, monuments honoring the Confederacy have been defaced and taken down recently, following violence in Charlottesville, Va., that began as a rally opposing the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
"We're not changing history. We want to learn from history. There's no question about that. That's an important aspect," Cardin told Fox News's Bill Hemmer on "Fox News Sunday."
"You don't need a monument to learn history. Monuments are put up for different purposes. Some are more modern than others. Monuments should represent the contemporary needs of our society. And I think what Baltimore did and what Maryland is doing is appropriate. But we will not avoid history and we certainly want to learn from history," he continued.
Cardin's comments come after his home state removed Confederate statues in Annapolis and Baltimore last week.
President Trump has taken to defending such monuments, saying they are a part of history.
“They were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” Trump said during a press conference on Tuesday of the rally in Charlottesville that turned violent, resulting in injuries and the death of a counterprotester.
“This week it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is 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?”
The president continued his defense of what he called "beautiful" monuments on Twitter on Thursday.
Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
...can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
...the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017