CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The official unveiling and dedication ceremony for the United States Colored Troop Memorial was held on Saturday, June 8.
The ceremony kicked off with welcome and introductions, followed by Presentation of Colors, Invocation, music from the Black Light Choral Ensemble, Libation Ceremony, Schaffner Family String Band and more.
Heartland News spoke with the great-great grandchildren of the soldier immortalized in the statue, James Ivers. They say it was nice to learn more about their past, and feel their ancestor is an inspiration.
"Everybody likes to know where their history lies. For us, we got a chance to get a small piece of what's our history." Said Alex Campbell, an Ivers’ 7th generation grandson.
"He’s an inspiration in a way. I feel like people need that inspiration,” said Alexa Campbell, an Ivers’ 8th generation granddaughter.
The statue is dedicated to all African American troops and was installed in Cape Girardeau on Sunday morning, May 19.
According to Denise Lincoln, a historian in Cape Girardeau, the statue was installed after they received money from a grant, local donors and private donors.
The statue is located in Ivers Square near the Common Pleas Courthouse in downtown Cape Girardeau.
She said the statue is especially in honor of the 240 African American men who enlisted for the Civil War at that site from 1863-1864.