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      Roanoke Students Clean Historic Cemetery for Day of Service

      Roanoke, VA - While many students were off from school on Martin Luther King Day, students at Community School in Roanoke, also took the Day of Service to heart.

      It is a tradition the students of the arts and academic school have grown used to since the school began 17 years ago.

      Monday the school pitched in to help clean up one of Roanoke's oldest civic cemetery's, "Old Lick Cemetery".

      "Rather than lose the meaning of the holiday by taking it off; having it be a day of rest, we wanted to be an active part of the community and actively participate in service projects this day," said Community High School Academic Director, Josh Chapman.

      This cemetery dates back to the early 19th century and was used by both blacks and whites for a time.

      It then became known as a historical African-American cemetery after the remains of most of the white bodies were removed in the mid 1800's.

      In 1961, 933 African-American bodies were moved to Botetourt County to make way for the creation of Interstate 581. There's believed to be about that many bodies remaining at the site near the intersection of Williamson Road and Orange Avenue.

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