New Hanover County continues to remember events of 1898

Wreath laying ceremony honors 125th anniversary of 1898 massacre
Published: Nov. 9, 2023 at 7:30 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - With the 125th anniversary of the Wilmington massacre approaching, community leaders came together to honor the lives lost during the historic event.

On November 10, 1898, white supremacists overthrew the city’s government, murdered many Black citizens and ran countless others out of town. The massacre and race riot of 1898 is still being remembered today with events happening all through November.

“To the community, a community, this community 125 years later that strove to acknowledge the injustices of the past and work towards moving forward together. Towards a society of greater justice and inclusiveness for all its citizens,” said community leader Bertha Todd.

On Thursday morning officials gathered for a wreath-laying ceremony at the 1898 Memorial Park in Wilmington. Community leaders including Mayor Bill Saffo, Bertha Todd and law enforcement agencies gathered at the ceremony to pay their respects.

Todd says the figures at the memorial represent a deeper meaning in Wilmington’s history.

“This park was also built in remembrance of hundreds who were killed, lots of them thrown in the Cape Fear River.”

Students in attendance had the chance to get a closer look at the memorial and gain a better understanding of its historical significance. Those present say that this period is for reconciliation.

“We believe that these slender but strong paddles, though rooted in the soil of memories, rise skyward in the future in the spirit of reconciliation and hope.”

A full list of all the events happening in remembrance of 1898 can be found here.