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Fri, 11.09.2018

World War 1 Ceremony Honors Alabama Soldiers

Oakwood Cemetery gathering

*On this date in 2018, colleagues of Alabama State University (ASU) came to pay their respects to soldiers who died one hundred years ago.  They Gathered at Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Ala.

More than 350,000 Blacks served in segregated units during World War I.  They were fighting for rights they didn’t have in America then. Derryn Moten, Chairman of History and Political Science at ASU, said.  “It’s really important because President Woodrow Wilson said this war was fought to make the world safe for democracy. And the irony of that statement was that democracy was not safe for these soldiers or black people in the United States at that time. We had lynchings, race riots occurring, we had Jim Crow, which was pretty widespread and entrenched.”

John W. Beverly Jr is one of those soldiers buried at Oakwood Cemetery.  His father was president of Alabama State University.  About 86,000 Black and white Alabamians fought in WWI, and more than 2,500 died.  Alabama State University also commemorated the soldiers by unveiling a historical marker on campus.  About 100 WWI soldiers are buried at Oakwood Cemetery.

Reference:

 Alabama News Network

ALAU.edu

Image: Montgomery News

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