Why does the United States honor former military enemies?



An article I read the other day that mentioned Fort Lee, Va., reminded me of a complaint I made a few years ago about the fact that some U.S. military facilities are named for men who fought against the U.S. Army.

Fort Lee is named for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, a man who, according to historians,  was responsible for killing more U.S. soldiers in the Civil War than Hitler and Tojo did in World War II. Lee was an enemy of the United States. He fought in defense of slavery. At the outset of the Civil War, he declined Abraham Lincoln’s offer to make him the commander of Union forces and opted instead to fight for the Confederacy.

For all his vaunted leadership skills, Lee was a traitor to the Union cause. He was an enemy of the United States.  Yet there’s a U.S. Army facility in Virginia named for him.

Fort Hood in Texas is similarly named for a Confederate hero, John Bell Hood.

And then there’s Fort Gordon in Georgia, which is named for John B. Gordon, one of Lee’s commanders and an outspoken defender of slavery.  After the war. Gordon became a U.S. Senator and headed the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia.

There are now at least 10 U.S. Army facilities named for generals who led Confederate troops in battles against Union soldiers. These rebel heroes had the blood of good and loyal Americans on their hands. And our government honored them by naming military facilities after them.

Why do the so-called patriots among us who act as self-appointed guardians of the flag and promote respect for our military veterans rarely, if ever, raise a fuss about the Army facilities named for the nation’s enemies?








  1. Robert L Bell

    Treason in defense of slavery is always popular with a certain fanatical minority of Americans.

    Until we sort out this problem, we will always be a house divided against itself.

    Unless we sort out this problem, we will fall.

  2. RedRover

    You don’t have to go back to the Civil War to find traitors who are honored in this profit-über -alles country:

    Prescott Sheldon Bush Sr. (May 15, 1895 – October 8, 1972) was a U.S. Senator, representing Connecticut from 1952 until January 1963, and the father of President George H. W. Bush and the grandfather of President George W. Bush.

    He was also a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. His business dealings, which continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.

    The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator’s action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power
    BY Ben Aris and Duncan Campbell, The Guardian, Saturday 25 September 2004

  3. “In the wake of the bloodiest, most destructive war of the century, the North and South sought political and cultural reconciliation. Soldiers on both sides sought to reconcile with former enemies by recognizing and commemorating their shared sacrifice. The Reconstruction-era goal of equality for Americans of color was largely abandoned by white Americans.
    The varied efforts at commemoration and preservation by succeeding generations illustrate society’s evolving values and views on the Civil War.”
    I bet Pat probably spit on Vets in the 70’s now he might thank Vets for their service.

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