On Friday (June 2), Fort Bragg in North Carolina was redesignated as Fort Liberty, becoming the only major Army base not to be named after a military veteran of significance, CBS News reports.
The home of the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Liberty is one of the most highly-regarded installations of the Army and is one of nine Army bases to be renamed. The redesignation is part of the Pentagon's commitment to replace the names of Confederate soldiers who fought in the Civil War to maintain slavery in the South. Also, the calls for Confederate names to be removed from public and government buildings were sparked by the murder of George Floyd in 2020 and the protests led by the Black Lives Matter Movement in response to the killing.
Last year, retired U.S. 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."
"Fayetteville in 1775 signed one of the first accords declaring our willingness to fight for liberty and freedom from Great Britain," said Lt. Gen. Christopher Donahue, the commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Liberty added. "Liberty has always been ingrained in this area."
Donahue also stated that several other military veterans were considered for the redesignation before “liberty” became the official name.
"Every name was considered, debated," Donahue said. "Any of them could have been chosen. But how do you choose any and leave those others behind?"
According to the commission’s report, the cost to rename the base to Fort Liberty will total $6.37 Million
"The name changes, the mission does not change," base spokesperson Cheryle Rivas said.
Established in 1918, the Army base was named after Gen. Braxton Bragg, a Confederate, slave-owning general from Warrenton, North Carolina, who lost key battles in the Civil War, leading to the toppling of the Confederacy.
In addition to the renaming of Fort Bragg, Fort Polk in Louisiana will be renamed Fort Johnson in honor of Sgt. William Henry Johnson on June 13.