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Posted at 04:57 PM ET, 09/21/2011

CBC commemorates Civil War soldiers

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation began their 41st Annual legislative conference at the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum Tuesday to honor veterans.

“We have to help our family with our on history,” said Rep. William Clay (D-Mo.) as he talked about his great great grand father George Clay served as a private in the U.S. Colored Regiment during the war. “It means a lot to me to be here and talk about my family history.”

CBC Executive Director Elsie Scott also talked about her great great grand father who served as a cook for the Confederate Army and was consequently captured by Union forces. “The man he was working for was a cook and he asked him to go with him to serve as a cook.”

The history was not lost on those in attendance.

“This is special for me,” said Frank Smith, the executive director of the museum. “This allows the CBC to think about all of the distance that we have come from slaves and soldiers to having President Barack Obama in the White House.”

Boeing sponsored the event and Retired Army Brigadier General Leo Brooks, the company’s Vice-President said more than 200,000 African American served in the Civil War. “These men and women fought for a cause they believe in for a country that didn’t always believe in them.”

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By  |  04:57 PM ET, 09/21/2011

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