Historians push to preserve US service members’ gravestones in Hampton Roads.
WAVY 10 News l by Jason Marks l April 18, 2019
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — At the Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery there is a sea of heroes. Their stones nicely arranged, everyone looking like the other. Every name etched as their legacies live on.
The graves aren’t nearly as organized in West Point Cemetery in Norfolk….
The issue isn’t confined to Norfolk.
“The only thing you can make out was that he was a member of the 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry,” said historian Nadia Orton.
Orton has ancestors buried at Mt. Cavalry Cemetery in Portsmouth.
“Once we came here and found them, we saw all the other grave sites and how hard they were to read and broken,” Orton added.
That included nearly two dozen African American Civil War vets.
“I’ve been studying him for eight years and I still don’t know who he is,” Orton said pointing to a grave.
Orton has made it her mission to recover the lost identities. Some have eluded her.