Honor Fallen Black Soldiers Denied Recognition

Target: Denis McDonough, Secretary of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Goal: Advocate for identification and military honors for Black soldiers historically deprived of proper memorials.

Juneteenth commemorates the officially recognized end of slavery in America. But many of the African Americans who helped secure this freedom are still not known for their sacrifices. Black soldiers serving in the Civil War and in other major military engagements prior to desegregation often faced segregation even in death. Historically, Black Americans were buried in separate cemeteries from white Americans. And enslaved Americans were typically not even given the dignity of a marked burial site, or even a funeral.

As a consequence, soldiers of African descent had a negligible chance of receiving the type of military honors traditionally associated with service members. Communities around the country are often just discovering the rich heritage of their buried ancestors. Some of these communities have made it their mission to honor these heroes by identifying soldiers in historically Black cemeteries and fighting for full honors for these brave individuals in death.

They should have the support and aid of U.S.  military agencies and officials. Sign the petition below to call on American military leadership to help recognize and honor all its fallen heroes.


Dear Secretary McDonough,

They got no flag, they got no bugle call, they got no commendations or medals, and they got no special recognition on their gravesites. Across America, segregation still lives on with the dead. Historic African American burial sites are populated with soldiers who bravely served in world wars, in the Civil War, and in many other military conflicts large and small. Yet without the diligence of descendants and community members, these brave individuals would go unacknowledged. Think of how many more soldiers are still deprived of the honor and respect they deserve?

These communities who prioritized securing full military honors for their dead have been commended by military leadership, but what has leadership done to assist their efforts? Although largely unknown, Memorial Day itself has strong roots in African American communities. It’s time the American military makes amends for its own history of segregation and honors equally the contributions of every soldier who sacrificed for their country. Please launch an initiative to identify and commemorate this nation’s forgotten heroes.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Unknown

One Comment

  1. Our entire military should be ashamed of themselves. Our country is going through this ridicule and dishonor again. All soldiers need to be recognized for their service. Honor those who were so brave and I’ve to the families all that any other veteran receives. The only failed citizens are those who didn’t serve. They live due to another’ sacrifice. This world only seems to revolve around the white man yet look at the dishonor he produces. Every veteran deserves recognition in life and death. Stop disgracing this court by not honoring its fallen soldiers who died to protect our way of life and freedoms.
    Correct these mistakes and do it now!

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