Annual Slave Memorial Commemoration held at Mount Vernon

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MOUNT VERNON, Va. (WDVM) — The annual Slave Memorial Commemoration ceremony was held on Oct. 3 at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

The staff at Mount Vernon and Black Women United for Action held a wreath-laying ceremony honoring those who were enslaved at the estate at the time that George Washington was president.

The ceremony consisted of speeches, reading aloud names of those who were enslaved, and laying of boxwood sprigs that the slaves would grow under the wreath.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, only a small group was allowed at the ceremony. Those who wished to participate were able to watch via a live stream at home.

Despite the differences this year, the event still had the sentiment and intention of honoring those who were enslaved.

“It’s very important that we commemorate the people who were enslaved here at Mount Vernon,” said Doug Bradburn, President & CEO at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. “All their lives were crucial to our lives today, and so once a year, we spend the time together to take a moment to reflect together.”

The slave memorial was designed by Howard University students in 1983 with the words “Faith, Hope, & Love” inscribed into the stone to represent the virtues held by those in bondage.

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