WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement regarding the Naming Commission’s recommendations to rename three Virginia bases that were previously named after Confederates. Kaine co-sponsored an amendment in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that initiated the process to rename these bases and all other DOD facilities named after Confederates.
“If we as a country hope to overcome the racial injustices that continue to surround us today, we simply cannot continue to honor those who fought against the United States to deprive African Americans of their equality. While much work remains ahead to deliver on America’s promise of liberty and justice for all, days like today are proof that progress is possible, and we’re going to keep fighting to build on it.”
Now that the Commission has shared these name recommendations with Congress, the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will consider the Commission’s recommendations before reaching a decision with President Biden regarding whether to adopt them.
The Naming Commission’s recommendations are to rename Fort A.P. Hill as Fort Walker, in honor of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker; Fort Lee as Fort Gregg-Adams, in honor of Arthur Gregg and Charity Adams; and Fort Pickett as Fort Barfoot, in honor of Van T. Barfoot. More information regarding Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, Arthur Gregg, Charity Adams, and Van T. Barfoot are available here, here, and here.
Warner is a cosponsor of the Confederate Monument Removal Act, which would remove statues of individuals who voluntarily served the Confederate States of America from display in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. He has also spoken publicly about the need to remove public symbols honoring the Confederacy as part of broader efforts to advance racial justice.