As the Army renamed the last of nine bases originally named for Confederate generals, an entire category of memorials venerating the Confederacy disappeared.
The bases had been named for men who fought against the very Army that uses them, and who fought for the right to own slaves. The new names could scarcely be more different.
At the first renaming in March, Native American dancers and musicians were part of the ceremony as Fort Pickett in Virginia became Fort Barfoot for World War II Medal of Honor winner Van Barfoot.
Barfoot was a Choctaw Indian, which made it the first Army post in the continental United States to bear the name of a Native American soldier.
A month later, nearby Fort Lee was renamed for Lt. Gen. Arthur J. Gregg and Lt. Col. Charity Adams, both unusually distinguished Black soldiers.
Other bases were renamed for people like Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War surgeon who was the first woman to be awarded the Medal of Honor, and Gen. Richard Cavazos, the first Latino four-star general and a hero of the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Now, in the final renaming, Fort Gordon in Georgia will be known as Fort Eisenhower for the general who planned and led the D-Day invasion and later became a highly-regarded president.
It’s a diverse group. People who did big things for their nation rather than against it.
Historians said the renamings – like the removal of many Confederate statues in recent years – are part of a national return to a more accurate understanding of the Confederacy.