During a small ceremony on Friday, Fort Bragg, a U.S. Army base in North Carolina, was renamed Fort Liberty as part of a Defense Department push to get rid of Confederate-named locations and other memorabilia.
Signs were changed to reflect the new name and the website for the base was also changed.
The name was chosen from 188 possibilities by the Naming Commission.
The base had been named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg since 1918.
Criticism of the change has been strong, not only because many disagree with changing from Confedrate names because it erases history, but because the thousands of soldiers who served at the base consider it part of their history that has now been changed.
The announcement of the change on the base's website tried to assure veterans who served there that their heritage is not being erased, as some had said.
No act can take away from the heritage this installation’s service members created while stationed here or anywhere else, serving our nation. We understand the original name’s prestige in the eyes of some of the Soldiers, Families, and our nation, was built upon the bravery and dedication of those who served here, not because of an obscure, incompetent, ill-tempered Confederate general’s legacy. Nevertheless, our nation’s representatives felt a need to move on from that name and put the redesignation into law, and we are abiding by that law.
There were even babies born on Fort Bragg, who now wonder if they need to change their birth certificates. It seems like a lot of trouble just to get rid of a piece of Confederate history.
The change will also impact businesses with Fort Bragg in the name, as well as localities that have the name in their street signs.
According to the site, no business or locality is being asked or forced to change its name or any street names to reflect the change in the Fort's official title, but if they don't, it may seem anachronistic or raise questions when visitors come to the area.
The reason for the change is because of the Confederacy's support for slavery, which has impacted Blacks in the U.S. ever since.
Even so, black Army veteran George Postell Jr., who served at the base for more than four years, doesn't agree with the change either.
Postell told the AP, “I shared my blood, and I know a lot of my other brothers that did the same for the namesake of Fort Bragg. To me, it will always be Fort Bragg, no matter what they call it.”
U.S. Army veteran and president of the Fayetteville chapter of the NAACP James Buxton Jr. said that the DOD could have kept the name and designated the fort to be named after Union General and distinguished lawmaker Edward Bragg, but apparently that wasn't woke enough for them.