Our opinion: either change name of Edmund Pettus Bridge or leave it alone

Published 2:38 pm Friday, April 8, 2022

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The Edmund Pettus Bridge may have an addition to its name in the near future.

Alabama Senate voted 23-3 Tuesday night on legislation that would change the official name to the “Edmund W. Pettus-Foot Soldiers Bridge.”

If approved, the lettering on the bridge will remain the same, but the name would be on a separate sign with a silhouette of the marchers.

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The bill, called the “Healing History Act,” now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.

The bridge was named after Pettus, a Confederate general and reputed Ku Klux Klan leader, in 1940. In 1965, the bridge was known for Bloody Sunday, where civil rights marchers were beaten by law enforcement officers.

Some of us believe that adding to the name is not a solution. The name of bridge should be changed entirely to something like, Voting Rights Act Bridge or Foot Soldiers Bridge. Civil Rights historians feel the bridge should be named after Congressman John Lewis, a Troy native. Either the name of the bridge gets changed entirely or it should be left alone.