The Biden administration is renaming some US Army posts that are currently named after Confederate generals.
As conservatives we are right to be suspicious of the move. But just as a broken clock is right two times a day, this maneuver inadvertently remedies post Civil War actions that are long overdue for reform.
I say this as a US Army veteran who has served at one of these posts. In fact, I find it interesting that much of the opposition to the move comes from those who loudly proclaim their pro-military credentials but who have never worn the uniform.
To bind the nation’s wounds after Appomattox, Army posts were named after Confederate generals. Posts like Fort Benning, Fort Polk, Fort Lee, Fort Bragg, Fort Gordon, and others gave the South back some of the military pride they lost at Gettysburg. However, did they deserve even that small redemption? I say no.
I state this not out of any hatred for the South. I spent childhood years around Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and have fond memories of it. I trained at Fort Lee, Virginia, when I was in the Reserves. But regarding this question we have to check the premise. And that is, are generals who led an Army that killed 300,000 US troops in battle worthy of honor from the US Army? Are traitors, men who took oaths of loyalty to the United States, men who wore Union blue before the war, men who fought and bled for our flag in the West and Mexico, are they deserving of distinction from the country that they betrayed?
If so, as generals like Lee were personally very honorable, then where is Fort Rommel? Why isn’t Pearl Harbor now Yamamoto Harbor? After all, those were formidable and worthy foes who killed in battle far fewer US personnel than the above-mentioned Confederate generals. Don’t Rommel and Yamamoto get a slap on the back and an atta boy as well?
If the proposed new names were normally Democrat outlandish, say Fort Angela Davis or Fort Bill Ayers, then they should be opposed. And yes, there seems to be some tokenism in the process. However, Fort Benning in Georgia will become Fort Moore after Lt. General Hal Moore, a revered US Army officer who led troops in the first engagement against the NVA in 1965. He is well portrayed by Mel Gibson in the film We Were Soldiers.
Fort Gordon, also in Georgia, will be named after General Dwight Eisenhower. Unless you have the historical knowledge of a throw rug you know who Ike is. WWII European Theater Commander, first NATO Commander, and president, the man deserves this and a whole lot more.
Other posts will be renamed after those who were awarded the Medal of Honor and who those who served with gallantry. As it should be.
For no matter what regional wounds needed to be salved many decades ago, it’s time to remember and honor US Army heroes at US Army posts. Anything else dishonors the memory of the Army and sullies the legacy of we who served in its ranks.
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