Fort Bragg shed its Confederate namesake on Friday to become Fort Liberty, in a ceremony some veterans said was a small but important step in making the US Army more welcoming to current and prospective Black service members.
The change was part of a broad Department of Defense initiative, motivated by the 2020 protests over the murder of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis that sparked a national reckoning on police brutality and enduring systemic racism in American society.
The military is in the process of renaming numerous installations that had been named after confederate soldiers.
The Black Lives Matter demonstrations that erupted nationwide, coupled with ongoing efforts to remove Confederate monuments, turned the spotlight on the Army installations. A naming commission created by the US Congress visited the bases and met with members of the surrounding communities for input.
While other bases are being renamed for Black soldiers, US presidents and trailblazing women, the North Carolina military installation is the only one not renamed after a person. Retired US Army Brig Gen Ty Seidule said at a commission meeting last year that the new name was chosen because “liberty remains the greatest American value”.
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