Senators push to rename military bases honoring Confederate leaders within one year

Abbie Bennett
June 24, 2020 - 12:22 pm
One of the entrance signs to facillities in Fort Bragg May 13, 2004 in Fayettville, North Carolina.

Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images

A group of dozens of Democrat senators introduced a standalone bill this week that would require the Pentagon to remove all references honoring the Confederacy within one year.

The legislation would require the Defense Department to "remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America and anyone who voluntarily served it from all military bases and other assets of the Department of Defense." That includes the names of military bases, which President Donald Trump said he opposed. 

The bill includes names of bases, installations, streets, buildings, facilities, aircraft, ships, planes, weapons, equipment "or any other property owned or controlled by" the Pentagon to be renamed. Grave markers are the exception.

The legislation further would prevent the Pentagon from displaying any name, symbol or monument honoring the Confederacy in the future. 

The senators, led by Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., introduced the bill this week in a bid to expedite the process of removing the Confederate names. Earlier this month, a Republican-led Senate Armed Services Committee passed a bipartisan proposal to rename bases and assets within three years. That proposal was authored by Warren.

The standalone bill was announced in advance of a Senate vote on the must-pass annual defense spending bill totaling more than $740 billion. 

"Senate Democrats are putting forward legislation to change the names of our bases and other military assets within one year because we need to stop honoring this ugly legacy immediately," Warren said in a statement. "SASC has already passed a version of my proposal in the annual defense bill -- and Senate Republicans should make sure that bipartisan compromise stays intact." 

 

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Reach Abbie Bennett: abbie@connectingvets.com or @AbbieRBennett.

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