In 2009 Barrack Obama removed the bust of Sir Winston Churchill from the Oval Office.
President Elect Donald Trump plans on returning it.
Although he mentioned this during his campaign, questions surrounding the bust fell by the wayside until Trump met with Nigel Farage this weekend, who asked specifically about the bust. According to Farage, Trump was “enthusiastic” about returning the bust to the Oval Office.
Today, Trump confirmed the rumors.
This is significant because relations between America and Britain have been strained under Obama—especially in light of Brexit, which Obama vociferously denounced.
But why care about some old statue?
Who we choose to glorify defines our identity as a nation, and as a people. America was founded upon the principles of freedom and liberty—Churchill, and the British Empire, defended these principles alone against Adolph Hitler, until America joined the war after Pearl Harbor.
Churchill is a British hero. But he’s more than that. He’s a Western hero. An American hero.
Hundreds of thousands of our men died fighting alongside their British brothers in the War. Churchill’s bust is a reminder of that shared sacrifice, and the enduring friendship that was foraged on the battlefield.
Since then, Britain has been American’s greatest ally. Together, we halted the red tide of communism, and we continue to fight the scourge of terrorism throughout the world.
When Obama removed Churchill’s bust, he sent a signal that the old alliance was failing, that our strong bilateral relationship was not as important as new global reorientation. For Obama, Britain was just another country in Europe.
Under President Trump, we can likely look forward to a stronger political and economic relationship with our greatest ally, Great Britain. This is just a taste of things to come.