Julia Moore was always the center of attention when Moore suggested the new name for Fort Benning to her parents
FORT BENNING, Georgia (WRBL) — Thursday will be a significant day in the history of Columbus and the US Army.
After 105 years, Fort Benning’s name is changed to Fort Moore in honor of Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and his wife Julia.
The historic nature of this event has not escaped Greg and David Moore. But they know this is about army families, service and sacrifice.
Here’s what they’re thinking on the eve of the name change.
Julia Moore was an Army wife during the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the transition to an all-volunteer military.
When Congress ordered the names of those associated with the Confederacy to be removed from military installations, it meant that Confederate General Henry L. Benning was not present and there was a naming opportunity.
David Moore and his siblings proposed to their parents, but not in the order one would expect.
“It was Julia and then it became Hal,” said David Moore.
Greg Moore echoed that.
“From the start, it was always Julia,” he said.
When the names of Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and his wife Julia appear on the fort, it will be the only Army post in the country named after a military couple. And it will recognize the service of the entire military family.
“There are many great military leaders, many great military commanders,” said David Moore. “But what makes Hal what Hal was was Julia. And Julia is the center, the core of the offer that we have proposed. And without that, there would be no proposal.”
Greg is well aware that without his mother’s name, none of this would have happened and it wouldn’t have happened.
“He would never have allowed this to progress if she weren’t the focus and value that this post was meant to represent,” said Greg Moore.
“I think he’d be happy about that, because like mom would say, ‘You know when am I ever going to be first?’ said David Moore. “And that’s probably what spouses always say, ‘When am I ever going to be first?’ And now she’s the first.”
Randall Wallace directed the 2002 feature film We Were Soldiers. He met Hal and Julia Moore, and what Greg and David say about their mother resonates with him.
“I have all kinds of emotional reactions to it,” Wallace said. “Julie is the epitome of love, courage and loyalty. But I would also say that Hal is the one who can say the most about it. Hal idolized Julie and thought of her his entire life. And one of the last things Hal ever said to me was, “I miss my wife. I can’t wait to see her again.”
Wallace is the guy who adapted Hal Moore’s and Joe Galloway’s book We Were Soldiers Once… and Young, starring Mel Gibson.
I interviewed him on Zoom from California last night. He intends to be here tomorrow.
He told a funny story about Gibson and Julia Moore.
“I saw Julie grab Mel Gibson’s elbow and put his shoulder under his ear like your mother would if he was misbehaving in church or something and said, ‘Now listen to me,'” Wallace said . “‘These men are counting on you and you’re going to do that, right?’ And he said, “Yes, ma’am.” “Yes, ma’am.” So there was nothing weak about Julie, but her tenderness knew no bounds.”