The Pentagon is requesting public help in renaming military bases that commemorate Civil War Confederate soldiers.
The department opened the name panel on Monday, Sept. 6, inviting “interested citizens” to submit comments and suggestions for replacements.
The Naming Commission was established when the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 was passed in January. Former President Trump vetoed the bill in December last year, but the House and Senate had voted to override it, Military.com reported.
Yet, the deadline for briefing progress of the renaming effort had been clicking by, which is due by Oct. 1, or only three weeks away.
The commission of eight individuals, led by Adm. Michelle Howard of the U.S. Navy, was looking to change the names of ten Army facilities, including Fort Bragg, Fort Hood, and Fort Lee.
In addition to military bases, properties to be renamed could number dozens, or even hundreds, following the legislation.
The bill suggested that all installation, street, building, facility, aircraft, ship, plane, weapon, equipment, and others under the Defense Department’s control may also expect new names.
Critics calling for changing the names of the bases said the names were remnants of past racism, slavery, and discrimination. But the Trump administration wanted to leave the names intact to respect history.
“We must recognize the sacrifices made by these men and women, some of whom saw Fort Bragg for the last time before they went overseas,” said the then-White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, according to the Washington Examiner.
“I wonder: Is it George Washington next week, and is it, Thomas Jefferson, the week after?” Trump told reporters in 2017. “You know, you really do have to ask yourself—where does it stop?”
Likewise, support for the name changes was more widely supported after George Floyd’s death.
“Men who fought to preserve the institution of slavery and betrayed our country to defend white supremacy do not deserve to be honored by our military,” said Rep. Anthony Brown, per Military.com.