Sen. Heinrich: Remove Confederate names from military bases

By:  Scott Turner

Confederate statues and monuments have come down across the country amid protests after the death of George Floyd.

The removal of Confederate names from military bases could be next if a group of lawmakers has its way, and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., is in that group.

Heinrich, a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, and 11 of his colleagues sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to support the committee’s proposal to the 2021 defense spending bill that calls for the removal of “all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederacy and anyone who voluntarily served it from bases and other property of the U.S. military.”

“It is long overdue to end the practice of naming the bases where patriotic Americans serve our country after those who betrayed our nation and fought to preserve the institution of slavery,” Heinrich posted on social media. “Whether Donald Trump chooses to commend those traitors is up to him. Our military members of all backgrounds deserve to be stationed at installations named for heroes they can be proud of.”

There are 10 military bases named after Confederate generals, including Fort Lee in Virginia, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Hood in Texas.

“It is long past time for the United States military to cease honoring, commemorating, or otherwise celebrating those who took up arms against the United States in the Civil War, sacrificing hundreds of thousands of American lives in order to preserve the institution of chattel slavery,” the lawmakers wrote to Trump.

The president in recent days has voiced support for keeping the names on bases and has opposed the removal of Confederate and other historical monuments.