19th century black Medal of Honor winner finally gets burial in Arlington





It was a journey that took more than a hundred years.

Missing for decades, the remains of Cpl. Isaiah Mays, a Buffalo Soldier and Medal of Honor recipient, were laid to rest Friday at Arlington National Cemetery.

Paying respects were African-American veterans, U.S. Army soldiers and those who rode for days as part of a motorcycle escort -- members of the Missing in America Project, who traveled from as far away as California and Arizona at their own expense to make sure Mays got a proper burial....

Mays [who won the Medal of Honor in 1890] left the Army in 1893 and many years later applied for a federal pension. But he was denied. He was committed to an Arizona state hospital that cared for the mentally ill, tuberculosis patients and the indigent.

When he died in 1925, Mays was buried in the hospital cemetery in a grave marked only with a number. Years later, a small group of hospital staff and veterans located his grave and arranged for a formal ceremony on Memorial Day 2001.

They were determined that Mays should not be forgotten.



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