WTVM Editorial 05/12/23: From Benning to Moore

Published: May. 12, 2023 at 11:39 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The renaming of Fort Benning is finally happening.

In a departure from the usual naming of Army forts in honor of one military legend, it will now be named for two: Fort Moore will honor both Hal Moore and his wife Julia.

Lieutenant General Hal Moore earned two bronze stars for his selfless leadership during the first major battle of the Vietnam War.

His bravery earned him the respect of his men, the nation, and moviegoers - when Hollywood made his life story into a film, starring Mel Gibson, called “We Were Soldiers”.

Moore’s wife Julia made her own unique contributions to life…and death in the Army. Julia Moore helped change the way the military notified families of a death in combat.

Before Julia Moore changed the process, the Army simply sent cab drivers to deliver uncaring telegrams to whoever answered the door.

It was inhumane and almost cruel.

Once when a cabbie knocked on her door, Julia Moore was so scared the telegram was for her, she could barely open the door. But the cabbie was just asking for directions.

The intense relief Julia felt that day led her to help create a dignified system of death notification, one that supports grieving families.

Death notifications changed into a much more dignified event, with officers and a chaplain making solemn in-person visits to the soldier’s home.

Julia Moore’s caring approach made an indelible impression on the armed forces and is still in use today.

So it’s fitting that the new name for Fort Benning, Fort Moore, recognizes the Moores as a military couple.

One showed courage on the battlefield, the other served bravely on the home front.

Hal Moore died in Auburn in 2017 at the age of 94.

Julia Moore predeceased him in 2004.

Both are buried at the post cemetery at the fort that will now bear their name.