The United States is renaming the first of nine military bases on Friday which have previously borne the names of generals who fought in the American Civil War (1861-1865) on the side of the Confederate slave states.
Fort Pickett, a National Guard facility located in the state of Virginia, not far from Washington (East), will instead be named after Van Barfoot, a soldier decorated for heroic deeds during World War II.
Medal of Honor
His heroism - he notably dislodged two German machine guns, captured 17 enemy soldiers, destroyed a tank and an artillery piece, and rescued wounded troops in Italy in 1944 - earned him the "Medal of Honor
, America's highest military honor.
He then served in Korea and Vietnam, ending his career at the rank of colonel.
The base previously bore the name of Confederate General George Pickett, who became famous for having, during the Civil War, led a suicidal charge on the orders of his superiors during the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, won by the Unionist army. , anti-slavery.
More than half of his soldiers had lost their lives there, but he had survived.
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Calls to rename these military installations and other places honoring Confederate generals redoubled after the death of George Floyd in May 2020, killed by a white police officer, who had caused a vast movement of awareness.
Congress had, in 2021 and overriding Donald Trump's veto, asked the Ministry of Defense to create a commission responsible for proposing new names for these bases.