SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after the bipartisan Naming Commission released its recommendations for nine United States Army installations that currently bear the names of Confederate military officers.
“Today’s announcement represents a significant milestone for the Commission and follows a year’s worth of visits, community engagement, and historical research. These new names honor and celebrate the strength and diversity of the service members who serve at each of these nine installations, as well as honoring military families and the values that serve as a cornerstone of our democracy.
“I am proud that elected representatives across both parties in Congress voted to establish this Commission as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. I am also grateful for the many hours of work that the commissioners have contributed to make this a rigorous, informed process with extensive community input. I want to thank members of the public who attended listening sessions, engaged in this process, and respectfully and productively expressed their opinions on the future of their defense communities.
“This list is but a first step in addressing Confederate symbolism in the U.S. military, a process that is more than symbolic. This process has created a new opportunity to foster a more inclusive environment for our service members by remembering and acknowledging our country’s history while honoring the valor and sacrifice of our service members and their families. I look forward to seeing the Commission’s final report.”