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Americans across the country honor Veterans

(CNN, KYMA/KECY) - This Memorial Day, Americans will visit cemeteries across the nation to pay tribute to Veterans and honor their service.

But, the service many Veterans has long been overlooked, especially in historically Black cemeteries, and now, volunteers are working to piece their stories togehter and recognize their efforts.

On a blustery spring Saturday in York, Pennsylvania, the Civil War service of John Noble is finally memorialized.

Noble was born in Havana, Cuba, around 1832. He fought for the Union Army from 1862 to 1863, and in 1902, he was buried in North York's Lebanon Cemetery.

Until the mid-1960s, the cemetery was one of the only burial sites in the area for African Americans.

Samantha Dorm is co-founder of a volunteer group of called Friends of Lebanon Cemetery.

When the group first came together in 2019, the primary mission was upkeep. Now, the focus has expanded to research, storytelling, education, and remembrance.

"The truth of the matter is many of those stories are not there to be found, if you don't have families who can tell you about their ancestors," Dorm spoke.

The more than 150-year-old cemetery, Dorm says, is the final resting place of at least 300 U.S. Military Veterans.

This spring, Noble and four other black veterans received the grave markers to which every eligible U.S. Military Veteran is entitled, whether buried in a cemetery maintained by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, like this one in Alexandria, Virginia, or a private cemetery like Lebanon.

Matthew Quinn, the VA's Outgoing Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs, says efforts like that by the Friends of Lebanon Cemetery, and at other private sites, is an extension of the recognition at the nation's VA operated cemeteries, making sure every Veteran's service is honored.

"This is reaching out beyond those boundaries to, to private uh, cemeteries that, that maybe the graves haven't been maintained and, and the, the markers have been damaged or destroyed," Quinn expressed.

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