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'They fought, they served, so we honor them': World War I soldier receives grave marking

wwi soldier grave marking.jpg
Posted at 7:38 AM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-30 07:57:05-04

HARRODSBURG, Ky. (LEX 18) — Centennial Baptist Church teamed up with a non-profit organization Sunday to give World War I soldiers some overdue recognition.

Community leaders also declared May 29, 2022 Corporal Charles William Estell day.

Dozens filled the pews to honor Corporal Charles William Estell and other Black World War I soldiers whose sacrifices were lost in history.

"Corporal Estell along with countless other hardworking African Americans in these regiments were tasked with doing jobs that no one else wanted to do," explained one speaker.

Estell died in the Battle of Chateau-Thierry in France when a live shell bomb exploded, wounding him in the chest.

He would go on to be buried in an unmarked grave for over 100 years.

That was until 2022 when the James Harrod Trust stepped in to acknowledge his sacrifice.

Organizers placed a marker on Estell's grave, naming him a World War I hero.

Others also paid tribute to those who served on and off the battlefield that day in 1918.