Fort Bragg, one of the largest military bases in the United States, has officially been renamed Fort Liberty, following a ceremony Friday. The North Carolina post’s new name is part of a congressionally mandated plan to rename military bases, ships and streets that previously honored Confederate leaders.
The plan is the culmination of a years-long effort that intensified in 2020, after the murder of George Floyd and the reckoning it brought over the nation’s history of racism. A panel established by Congress recommended the Army rename nine installations that honored Confederate military officers.
“Welcome to Fort Liberty, the center of the universe,” Lt. Gen. Christopher Donahue, the commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps and the newly christened Fort Liberty, said during the ceremony Friday. “We were given a mission to re-designate our installation, no small task with its history. We seized this opportunity to make ourselves better and to seek excellence. That is what we always have done and always will do.”
The other eight Army bases selected to be renamed are Fort Benning and Fort Gordon in Georgia; Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Lee and Fort Pickett in Virginia; Fort Polk in Louisiana; Fort Rucker in Alabama; and Fort Hood in Texas.
The nine Army posts were all built during the first half of the 20th century in former Confederate states. Fort Bragg had been named in honor of Braxton Bragg, a Confederate general who was relieved of command after losing the battle for Chattanooga in 1863, though he remained active in the rebel cause, serving as an adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
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Sunday, June 4, 2023
Andrea Salcedo at WP: