Graveside memorial held for 1898 massacre victim

Graveside ceremony honoring Joshua Halsey's life.
Graveside ceremony honoring Joshua Halsey's life.(WECT)
Published: Nov. 6, 2021 at 9:45 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - One hundred and twenty-three years later, Joshua Hasley’s family can finally receive closure.

“1898 left our community broken. But today, 123 years later, we continue to work towards healing and reconciliation,” said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo.

Neighbors and city leaders gathered at Pine Forest Cemetery today to give Halsey the funeral he didn’t have, after his remains were identified from a soil sample in an unmarked grave.

“Maybe if we were to find a grave, maybe some kind of healing would be possible that hadn’t been so before, in a city that has never recovered from the events of that day,” said John Sullivan, the founder of the organization Third Person Project, who discovered Halsey’s remains.

The ceremony started with a procession by the family into the cemetery and was followed by the graveside ceremony, where Halsey’s life was honored. Giving the community a chance to remember this tragic event nearing the anniversary.

“If you listen in the spirit, you hear the blood of Joshua and the blood of those others saying...don’t you do this again,” said Rev. William J. Barber.

1898 Wilmington Massacre and Coup d’etat Observance events continue throughout this week.

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