Restore the Square
America was built on genicide and slavery, but we grow and evolve every day. Despite population turn-over since the Civil War, a lag time exists in the renewal of the built environment; a progressive people might find among them monuments to ideals they no longer embrace. The greatest monument to the Confederacy and the evils of slavery, and one of the deepest scars in our nation’s landscape, is the now-incomplete square of our nation’s capital. Retroceded to Virginia so the state could retain the ability to buy and sell people living in slavery, the Virginia portion of DC’s 10×10 mile square contains places like the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery that obviously belong to the collection of Federal Capital City buildings and landscapes that defines DC. The square has not been restored because Virginians haven’t been willing to pay higher taxes, but with Virginia Republicans fearing the purple state will flip blue and looking for more Republican votes (or less Democrat votes), and with Congress beginning to acknowledge that the country’s collective built identity is outgrowing the National Mall, is it time to restore the square?