Celebrate – Remember- Honor

Wreath Laying 2019:  Held annually during Black History month, this ceremony commemorates more than 50 slaves believed to be buried at the Elk Run Cemetery in Elkton, VA, although only a couple of dozen of the names of these slaves are known.  The event began in 2011, when Elkton resident and former Branch president Esther Nizer learned about the graves from a friend. The cemetery, now owned by the Town of Elkton, dates to the 1820s. In 2018, a project using ground-penetrating radar to locate unmarked graves was completed, including in what was traditionally called the “slave section.” A total of 145 unidentified graves were revealed, and the cemetery administration plans to place headstones marked “Unknown” to designate all of them.  Hymns, prayers, calling out the known names, and laying a wreath containing various colors with historical significance are led by a Branch member. The ceremony is free and the public is invited. Check the Facebook page for current plans.

Wreath Laying 2018: Rain didn’t stop this ceremony on Feb. 11, 2018.  President Monica Robinson called out 23 names that were listed in the 1818 Simeon B. Jennings family Bible. It’s believed those slaves were buried there with the family, which was relatively unusual for that time.