Wreaths laid at resting place of slaves in Elkton

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ELKTON,Va.(WHSV) -- The Harrisonburg-Rockingham NAACP held its annual wreath-laying ceremony on Saturday morning in honor of slaves buried at Elk Run Cemetery.

At the ceremony, the names of the known slaves were read aloud in remembrance of their passing.

While the remains of at least 20 slaves are known to be at the property in Elkton, many more are believed to reside there.

The ceremony was launched in 2011 to honor slaves during Black History Month who never had a proper burial service.

"It's up to us to come out and say we honor the things that you've done we honor the road that you've paved for us," said Monica Robinson, President of Harrisonburg-Rockingham NAACP. "It's important we come out and pay homage for all the work they've done in helping to build the valley."

The ceremony started with a group prayer, followed by group singing and then the laying of the wreath.

"We have white roses which represent silence and remembrance, we have pansies that represent thoughtful reflection and then we have the lavender which represents healing," Khadijah Islam, Chair of Wreath Laying Committee, said.

Robinson said the large turnout at the ceremony did not represent their chapter but rather the entire Harrisonburg and Rockingham community.