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Veterans to host Black History program honoring Isaac Pope
Kinston Free Press - 2/8/2018
Feb. 06--G.I. Joe's Living History Museum will host its final public program in its current location this weekend.
Sunday afternoon, the museum will host a special Black History Month program honoring Kinston native and World War II veteran Isaac Pope.
The program is sponsored by Mills Funeral Home and Kinston City Councilman Sammy Aiken.
"Isaac Pope is one of the few World War II veterans still alive today. With him being 100 years old, we feel the need to honor him while he is still alive," said Eric Cantu, organizer of this weekend's program.
Pope, who celebrated his 100th birthday in December 2017, was a First Sergeant of the 969th Field Artillery Battery during World War II, an all-black unit of soldiers and the first of its kind to be allowed to enter combat during the war.
Pope's story, from growing up in Kinston to fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and returning to life back home, was recently featured in the documentary "Isaac Pope: The Spirit of an American Century," which debuted in Kinston on Pope's 100th birthday.
The documentary was directed by Paula Caplan, who will be at Sunday's ceremony to discuss her film and Pope's story.
"He's always given back, always been the person to give to his community. You'd never know he's a military man if you weren't told about that. He has always done everything he can for his community, no matter what arena -- his church, Parks and Recreation, anywhere," Cantu said.
Sunday's program will be the third Black History month program hosted at G.I. Joe's and will be the last public program before the museum closes.
The museum is closing while it looks for a new location. Cantu said he hopes G. I. Joe's will reopen sometime next year.
Sunday's program begins at 2:30 p.m. at 211 C North Herritage St. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served at the museum. For more information, call 252-560-8031.
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