(Washington) Dwight Eisenhower, Colin Powell, or even Harriet Tubman: the Pentagon commission responsible for renaming American bases named after Confederate generals published Thursday a list of possible new names, combining generals, soldiers and illustrious civilians.
“The naming commission has deliberated extensively on thousands of possible new names suggested for the nine army installations originally named in commemoration of the Confederate States of America,” the body explains on its website, adding that it received 34,000 suggestions.
These bases, such as Fort Benning in Georgia or Fort Bragg in North Carolina, are all located in the southern United States, and pay tribute to Confederate generals, who fought in defense of slavery during the Civil War ( 1861-1865).
Among the 87 names put forward by the Commission are some illustrious generals such as Dwight Eisenhower, architect of the Allied victory in the Second World War and President of the United States between 1953 and 1961, or George Marshall, who gave his name to the plan to rebuild Europe after World War II, earning him a Nobel Peace Prize.
The first African-American Secretary of State Colin Powell, who died in 2021, also appears in this list. Also a former general, he was one of the main advocates of the war in Iraq in 2003.
The names of certain civilians are also put forward, such as that of Harriet Tubman, who in the 19and century fled slavery and smuggled dozens of slaves to the northern United States and Canada before and during the Civil War, before participating in the fight for women’s suffrage.
The issue of naming bases honoring Confederate generals is a sensitive topic in the United States. Former Republican President Donald Trump had thus vetoed in 2020 a defense budget providing for the creation of the commission, a veto finally overridden by Congress.