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Largest US military base drops name of Confederate general

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Fort Bragg, the largest military base in the United States, was renamed Fort Liberty on Friday, dropping the name of a pro-slavery Confederate general.

“Welcome to Fort Liberty,” Lieutenant General Chris Donahue, commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps, said at a live-streamed ceremony at the sprawling base in the North Carolina town of Fayetteville.

The base, home of the US Special Forces Command and the storied 82nd Airborne Division, is one of nine US military installations that are removing the names of figures who supported the South in the 1861-1865 US Civil War.

All of the facilities being renamed are located in Southern states that seceded from the United States and formed the Confederacy.

Fort Bragg had been named in 1918 for Braxton Bragg, an inept Confederate general who was relieved of command after his defeat in the 1863 Battle of Chattanooga.

The first renaming took place in March. Fort Pickett in Virginia was renamed Fort Barfoot in honor of a decorated Native American soldier, Colonel Van T. Barfoot, a World War II Medal of Honor recipient.

That base was previously named for Confederate major general George Pickett, whose failed assault on Union troops during the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg became known as “Pickett’s Charge.”

Calls to change the names of bases that honor Confederate figures gained momentum during nationwide protests against racism and police brutality that were sparked by the 2020 murder of George Floyd, an African American man who died at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis.

In the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021, Congress required the establishment of a commission to plan for the removal of Confederate-linked “names, symbols, displays, monuments, or paraphernalia” from Defense Department property, and gave the Pentagon chief three years to carry out its recommendations.

Former president Donald Trump opposed the renaming effort, tweeting in 2020 that his administration “will not even consider” changing the names of the bases.

He vetoed the defense bill in December 2020, but Congress overrode it in a blow to Trump, who by then had lost his re-election bid to Joe Biden.



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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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