When Aliyah Moore took the Frankfort Public Art Tour with other young people from Frankfort’s Kings Center, she was particularly struck by the monument for Kentucky’s African American Civil War soldiers. ”The Women’s Relief Corps erected the monument,” Aliyah explained. “It was made to show honor for these soldiers and if I could thank them, I would because they fought for us and died for us. I learned that when people fight for us, sometimes they die.” Aliyah’s experience is not unique. Robert Bell, a Civil War re-enactor who portrays an African American Civil War soldier as a Chautauqua character for the Kentucky Humanities Council, echoes Aliyah’s sentiment. “Here were men,” he says, “who served and suffered and risked their lives, not only when fighting but just to enlist. And there was no recognition of them. [When it] was unveiled on July 4, 1924… it was one of only four monuments in the whole country that recognized the sacrifices that these men had made… And they weren’t fighting for themselves. They were fighting for those they left at home and those that would come behind because there was no guarantee that they would survive.” KSU students and faculty volunteered to clean and revitalize the Green Hill Cemetery, where this unique monument stands.
Robert Bell is 12th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery re-enactor. He portrays Rev. Newton Bush for the Kentucky Humanities Council Chautauqua Performers. http://www.kyhumanities.org/chautauquacharacters.html