(Washington) The United States renamed Friday the first of nine military bases which so far bore the names of generals who fought during the American Civil War (1861-1865) on the side of the Confederate slave states.

Fort Pickett, a National Guard installation in Virginia, not far from Washington, will instead be named after Van Barfoot, a soldier decorated for heroic deeds in World War II.

His heroism – including dislodging two German machine guns, capturing 17 enemy soldiers, destroying a tank and an artillery piece, and rescuing 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.

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, which had caused a vast movement of awareness.

Congress had, in 2021 and overriding Donald Trump’s veto, asked the Department of Defense to create a commission responsible for proposing new names for these bases.