Congress members want Army base street names changed

Posted: Updated:
BROOKLYN -

A Brooklyn congresswoman says the borough needs to erase two symbols of the Confederacy located at Fort Hamilton.

United States Rep. Yvette Clarke joined other elected officials -- including Reps. Nydia Velázquez, Jerrold Nadler and Hakeem Jeffries -- in asking the Army to change the names of two streets inside the base that bear the names of Gen. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

General Lee Avenue runs across Fort Hamilton, and Stonewall Jackson Drive is a smaller street on the base.

In a letter to the acting U.S. Army secretary, Clarke says both men believed in the ideology of white supremacy and fought to keep slavery, which she says is an insult to Brooklyn residents. She's asking the Army to consider changing the street names.

"Streets on our military installations are often named for a soldier who holds a place in our military history," the Army said in a statement. "Accordingly, these historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies. It should be noted that the naming occurred in the spirit of reconciliation, not division."

Congressional leaders say they believe there are many other names that would celebrate the contributions made by armed forces.

Unless the Army changes its decision, it appears that both names will remain for now.

Also on Tuesday, a Confederate statue was taken down in Orlando, Florida.

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