Arlington, VA

Those looking to commemorate the First World War on Memorial Day may have been surprised to find the WWI plaque removed from the Clarendon War Memorial.

Dan Donahue from American Legion Post 139 in Arlington said the plaque was taken down to fix an error with one of the names.

The plaque has been the subject of controversy for its separation of two “colored” soldiers killed in WWI — listed as Arthur Morgan and Ralph Lowe — from the other 11 soldiers.

Donahue said the name “Ralph Lowe” should have been listed as “Ralph Rowe.”

No other alterations to the plaque are planned as part along with the name change, according to Donahue, but he is unsure when the alteration will be completed and the plaque reinstalled.

The memorial overlooking the intersection of Washington, Wilson and Clarendon boulevards was built in 1931 and has been moved around Arlington several times, but all with the original plaque intact.

The Arlington County Board accepted a $2,000 grant to fund new interpretive signs placed at the site last November. The staff report says the grant funding would be specifically dedicated to signage related to the creation of the memorial and its WWI component.

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