Bill Clinton, Eric Holder to join in Arlington tribute to Medgar Evers

June 5, 2013 in Events, News, Statewide News, Top Stories

From The Mississippi Link Newswire

ARLINGTON, Va. – Former president Bill Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder and NAACP officials will join Myrlie Evers-Williams today for a remembrance ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of slain civil rights leader Medgar Wiley Evers.

Medgar Evers (Photo courtesy of Myrlie Evers-Williams)

The event will feature remarks from Clinton, Holder, Evers’ widow, Evers-Williams, Roslyn Brock and Ben Jealous of the NAACP and other national officials.

The NAACP will host a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington, where Evers – a former field secretary of the organization – is buried.

Evers was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1943.

The Memorial Service will be followed by a Legacy of Medgar Evers Symposium at The Newseum at 7:30 p.m.

Despite fighting for his country, Evers discovered that his skin color gave him no freedom when he and five friends were forced away at gunpoint from voting in a local election.  In December of 1954, Evers became the NAACP’s first field officer in Mississippi. In this role, he organized voter registration efforts and led public investigations into the murder of Emmett Till.

On June 12, 1963, Evers was assassinated in his driveway after returning from an integration meeting where he had conferred with NAACP lawyers. His murder occurred just hours after President John F. Kennedy’s speech on national television in support of civil rights.

Evers was buried on June 19 in Arlington National Cemetery and received full military honors in front of a crowd of more than 3,000 people.

The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute has planned a series of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Medgar’s legacy.