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Camp William Penn Museum

Joseph W. Becton, left, and Robert F. Houston members of the Third Regiment Infantry United States Colored Troops Re-enactors. — Submitted photo

The unveiling of the new Civil War Memorial took place Saturday, April 21 at the Philadelphia National Cemetery.

The memorial honors Black Civil War soldiers with a new monument information panel recognizing the troops that are buried there.

The unveiling ceremony speakers included Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Congressman Dwight Evans (D-2nd District) and Charles L. Blockson Curator Emeritus of Temple University’s Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection.

Kenney spoke about the importance of commemorating those soldiers who fought and died for our country.

“Think about the fact that a Black soldier in Civil War uniform could not enter or ride on a trolley car in Philadelphia,” Kenney said.

“It wasn’t like Rosa Parks where you had to sit in the back because people in that day had to sit outside and fought for rights to integrate public accommodations,” Kenney added.

“We all have contributed in this country and I always say that the most patriotic people I’ve ever seen alive are Black World War II soldiers, sailors and Marines who left their country to go fight overseas and came back to Jim Crow.”

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