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Ceremony to honor African-American soldier killed in WWI

September 28, 2018

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island officials are hosting a ceremony in honor of the only African-American soldier from Rhode Island killed in action during World War I.

The Newport Daily News reports the graveside commemorative ceremony for Pvt. Arthur Burton is being held Saturday morning in Newport.

The ceremony was organized by the state World War One Centennial Commission and a distant cousin of Burton’s.

Burton enlisted in the Connecticut National Guard in 1917 and was sent to Europe in 1918. He was killed in France at age 21 on Sept. 21, 1918.

Burton’s cousin, Deborah Jones, says not all veterans were remembered for their service, especially during segregation.

She says the ceremony will be a time for reconciliation.

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