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Reports: Army 'open' to changing names of installations, including Ft. Rucker, named after Confederate leaders

Photo: Andrea Salgado Rivera / US Army
Photo: Andrea Salgado Rivera / US Army(KTVF)
Published: Jun. 10, 2020 at 9:50 AM CDT
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Could the Army change the names of several bases, including Fort Gordon, named after Confederate military men?

The word comes from several reports, including Politico, The Hill, and CNN, indicating the Army has reversed its stance on renaming at least 10 installations who were named by notable military officials from the Confederate Army.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy is “open” to change and Defense Secretary Mark Esper supports the discussion.

We also reached out to the Army who sent us a brief statement on the matter.

"The Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Army are open to a bi-partisan discussion on the topic," the statement said.

The discussion comes as protests around the country sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have caused new conversations to emerge about the country’s Civil War history.

And this discussion does stir responses in the Augusta community:

"I think they should just let it stay as it is," Crystal Thornton of Augusta, said. "I feel like our past happened for a reason and when you start taking that past away, people forget. I think that we should just leave it alone and just continue to do the best we can with what we’re doing right now."

This marks a major shift in military thinking since February when Army officials were

if they were considering renaming 10 installations since the Marines moved to ban Confederate items.

Gordon could join other installations such as Fort Benning, Camp Beauregard, Fort Pickett, Fort Lee, Fort Hood, Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Bragg, Fort Polk, and Fort Rucker in having their names changed.

Fort Gordon was named after Lt. Gen. John Brown Gordon, a Confederate leader under Gen. Robert E. Lee. Gordon was shot five times, including once in the face, during the Battle of Antietam.

People on Facebook say changing Fort Gordon’s name would be a “conscious effort not to publicly honor people who were instrumental in the degradation and oppression of a group of people.”

But others think if we erase a part of history, it’s doomed to repeat itself

Officials from Fort Gordon tell News 12, they “support the decision to be part of a national conversation," but the army’s latest announcement goes against previous stances they’ve taken on the subject.

In a statement from June 3, about the recent George Floyd protests, the army said “though we all aspire to live by the army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage, the army has sometimes fallen short.”

The branch says it is encouraging army leaders to listen and set an example.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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