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Letters to the Editor: Changing the name of Fort Bragg, Calif., doesn’t make anyone less racist

Fort Bragg, Calif.
Visitors ride horses on a beach near Fort Bragg, Calif.
(Paul Boorstin)

To the editor: At what point do we stop with the calls to change place names that come from our racist past? The history of mankind is racist. (“Fort Bragg’s name is nothing to brag about,” editorial, June 22)

Places in many other counties were conquered by outsiders who came in and subjugated the people living there. These conquerors did horrible things in the name of their king, country or empire.

Do we change practically every name in the country? How about changing Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco or Washington? None of these names comes from a completely peaceful history.

Instead, let’s leave the current names in place and learn from our past. We can go forward and become better people instead of making largely empty gestures while continuing to treat people badly and feeling noble because we changed a few names.

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Mary Ellen Barnes, San Pedro

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To the editor: Changing the city of Fort Bragg’s name can be done simply and at a low financial impact.

Rename the city after another Civil War veteran who fought heroically for the Union cause: Brig. Gen. Edward Stuyvesant Bragg, who after serving in the in the U.S. Army went on to be a four-term member of Congress and the U.S. minister to Mexico under President Cleveland.

Fort Bragg can easily be reformed into the City of Bragg, in honor of patriot Edward Stuyvesant Bragg. It would not only be an appropriate adjustment to our changing times; it could provide a history lesson that all our country can be proud to know.

Ben Miles, Huntington Beach

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To the editor: Keep the name of Braxton Bragg, the Confederate general, on the town if the residents want it, but put it into historical context.

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Bragg contributed more to the Union victory than most other Union generals. His pre-war service was checkered; he was famous for reportedly once arguing with himself.

Lots of Confederate generals won many battles, but not Bragg. He lost almost every battle he fought. His devastating loss in Chattanooga, Tenn., elevated Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s stature, leading to his command of Army of the Potomac. It also opened the way for Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s march to the sea and ultimately the Union victory.

Without Bragg, the war might have dragged on until the Union quit. Put that on a plaque in Fort Bragg.

Luther Berg, Winnetka


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