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Medgar Evers Buried at Arlington

June 19, 1963 - Medgar Evers was buried under the tall oaks of Arlington National Cemetery today as fellow integrationists softly sang his favorite freedom song, “We Shall Overcome.” The smoke from a rifle volley was still hovering over the bare gray coffin bearing the body of the slain integration leader when the final tribute was spoken. “Medgar Evers believed in his country; it now remains to be seen whether his country believes in him,” Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the NAACP, said quietly. Mr. Evers, 37, was Mississippi secretary of the NAACP and a veteran of the Normandy invasion in World War II. He was killed by a sniper’s bullet in the pre-dawn hours a week ago at his home in Jackson, Miss. The final rites were attended by 2,000 persons, including Sec. of the Interior Stewart L. Udall and G. Mennen Williams, Asst. Sec. of State for African Affairs. Senator Jacob Javits (R-N.Y.) and Senator Paul Douglas (D-Ill.) also attended. The flag-draped coffin was later taken to its final resting place near the graves of other soldiers: Sgt. Frederick O. Roth of New Mexico, who fought in World War I, and Pvt. Charles Hamilton of Connecticut, who fought in World War II. There, six young white soldiers removed the flag and held it over the coffin while a rifle squad fired three volleys and taps were sounded by a distant bugler. The flag, folded into a triangle, was given later to Mrs. Evers.


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