Alexandria's Black History

Needs to Be Preserved

I want to thank The Washington Post for the article in last week's edition on lynchings that occurred in Alexandria ["A History Scarred by Lynchings," Extra, July 7]. It is an ugly example of man's treatment of his fellow man, and as the adage goes, those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.

That is why it is very disappointing that the Alexandria City Council is going out of its way to further bury the memory of African American history in the nation by pushing for and helping to finance the development of the last remaining untouched portion of the Contraband Barracks and the L'Ouverture hospital, which treated African American soldiers who served in some of the most important battles of the Civil War. They left an impressive trail of documents detailing their experiences. And yet, there is nothing commemorating the historical significance of the site.

As when the city government allowed a gas station to be erected over the graves of those interred in the Freedmen's Cemetery, years from now a new generation of Alexandrians will wonder how the city could continue to disrespect the history of African Americans. It is very, very sad.

Russell George

Alexandria