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May 22, 2015 2:41 PM

Portsmouth park to stand as memorial to African burial ground

The Associated Press

CONCORD, (AP) — From installing sculptures to planting grass, constructing Portsmouth's newest park posed a unique challenge: deep digging was off limits, given the hundreds of bodies buried below the site.

The remains, however, are the very reason for the $1.2 million African Burying Ground Memorial Park, which returns the property to sacred ground and honors the enslaved and free men and women who played key roles in the city's early history.

On Saturday, the city will rebury the remains of 13 people discovered during a road maintenance project in 2003. The discovery trigged community-wide discussions. not just about what to do with the site going forward, but about the city's past. The resulting park features sculpture, artwork and other elements built around the theme, "We Stand in Honor of Those Forgotten."


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