The state Transportation Board's removal of the name “Squaw Peak Parkway” from state Route 51 Thursday advanced a political move begun by the state Board on Geographic and Historic Names at the insistence of Gov. Janet Napolitano.
Renaming the freeway and the nearby mountain for Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa of Tuba City, who died in action in Iraq, is less about Piestewa's sacrifice than an unsettled claim by a minority of American Indians that the word “squaw” is offensive.
This hasty measure recalls the emotional aftermath of the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, when Cape Canaveral, Fla., was renamed for him. The original name has since returned.
Arizonans are now poised to repeat this process, in the wake of a move that converted the honorable name of a young woman who served her country well into a political sop.
One that sadly dragged in the name of an honorable young woman who sought to serve her country, not to become an easy political solution.