Memorial Day

Posted June 20, 2003 at 1:12pm

On Monday, June 16, the House unanimously passed Concurrent Resolution 220, commending the lives of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers and his widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams. The resolution, matching a similar measure approved by the Senate the previous week, declared June 9-16 as Medgar Evers National Week of Remembrance.

That morning, before the House vote, a memorial was held at Arlington National Cemetery, where 7-year-old Lindsey Boucher of Biloxi, Miss., joined nearly 100 other visitors at Evers’ grave.

Evers, the state field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was killed July 12, 1963, outside his home in Jackson, Miss. Byron De La Beckwith VI was twice acquitted of the murder by all-white juries before being convicted in 1994. Evers’ murder and the 1994 reopening of the case are the basis of the 1996 movie “Ghosts of Mississippi.”

“Medgar Evers was a pioneer in the struggle for civil rights and racial justice,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), a sponsor of the House resolution. “He is perhaps the most under-celebrated martyr of our time; therefore, it is proper that we commemorate his dedication and unwavering efforts during the civil rights movement. His zeal for change shall never be forgotten.”