ALBANY, N.Y. — The growing national effort to remove monuments or honors to Robert E. Lee and other leading figures of the Confederacy has reached the U.S. Military Academy.
West Point is where the Virginian learned to be a soldier and later served as superintendent before resigning from the U.S. Army to lead Confederate troops during the Civil War. It’s also where a cadet barracks is named after him.
If two members of Congress from New York get their way, his name will be removed from Lee Barracks.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, both Democrats, want the secretary of the Army to rename the 55-year-old barracks. The request, first reported Wednesday by the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, follows last weekend’s deadly white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.
After a woman was killed and dozens others injured when a car rammed into a crowd near a Lee statue, communities across the nation are removing Confederate memorials and symbols or considering doing so.
Gillibrand’s Washington office said Thursday that she’s asking Acting Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy to change the name of all facilities at West Point that honor Confederate figures. West Point officials didn’t respond when asked if there are other places on the grounds named after Confederates.
West Point officials directed questions on the barracks’ name to the Secretary of the Army, who makes final decisions on names of Army buildings.