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June 13, 2013

West Point graduates to clean cemetery

THOMASVILLE — Thomasville and Tallahassee, Fla., graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y, will clean a Thomasville cemetery Saturday morning.

West Point graduates will scrub headstones and markers with non-abrasive materials, rake and trim shubbery at the old cemetery on North Madison Street, where West Point’s first black graduate, a Thomasville native, is buried.

Henry Ossian Flipper graduated from West Point in 1877. He died in 1940, and was buried in Atlanta. His body was reinterred here in the late 1970s.

“He was the first of 17 Thomasvillians to graduate from West Point,” said Thomasville resident Bill Raiford, a 1952 West Point graduate.

West Point grads will work at the cemetery from 10 a.m. until noon.

“We don’t know how many will show up,” Raiford, 83, said.

A dozen grads joined the project in 2012, the project’s first year.

 

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