Government spends millions to guard Confederate cemeteries

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The federal government has quietly spent millions of dollars to hire private security guards to stand watch over several Confederate cemeteries. | Eric Albrecht/The Columbus Dispatch via AP

ALTON — After last year’s deadly clash between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, the federal government quietly spent millions of dollars to hire private security guards to stand watch over at least eight Confederate cemeteries.

That’s according to documents from the Department of Veterans Affairs reviewed by The Associated Press.

The security runs around the clock at all but one of those VA-operated cemeteries. The effort is aimed at preventing the kind of damage that befell Confederate memorials across the U.S. in the aftermath of the Charlottesville violence.

None of the guarded cemeteries has been vandalized since the security was put in place.

Records show that the VA has spent nearly $3 million on the cemetery security since August 2017. The agency has not determined when the security will cease.

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