Fort Benning to honor lynched soldier 80 years later
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - On Tuesday, the U.S. Army will hold a memorial service at Fort Benning to honor the life of a lynched soldier, Pvt. Felix Hall, more than 80 years after he was murdered.
Hall, an Alabama native, was 18 years old when he left home to join the U.S. military and prepare for service in the WWII era. While preparing to fight in the Pacific, as part of an all-Black regiment, Hall was abducted, bound and lynched in the woods of the base.
Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), a Black lawmaker and a U.S. Army veteran himself, plans to attend Tuesday’s service in Georgia, which is located in his district. Bishop and his staffers have been heavily involved in trying to recognize and bring justice to Hall’s life.
Tuesday’s event comes as leaders continue discussing issues involving racial justice and equality. President Joe Biden elevated retired four-star General Lloyd Austin to serve as the first Black Secretary of Defense in U.S. history. Under their leadership, there’s a renewed emphasis on increasing diversity and representation in the Armed Forces.
“If in fact we identify the mistakes, the ills, the faults of the past, it helps us as we strive to create a more perfect union,” said Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.).
Fort Benning is also among the military bases around the country named after a Confederate figure, which Congress has directed the Department of Defense to rename such posts by 2024.
Bishop talks about how he feels the U.S. military and the nation are confronting racial justice, equality, and other important issues in the clip below:
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