In Celebration of Black History Month‏

Byrd Murray Carter and Carter Sgt Major Byrd and Jaspen BootheCity of Manassas, VA . . . On Jan. 27 at the City of Manassas City Council Meeting, a proclamation was delivered in honor of Black History Month. This year, the focus of Black History Month is also an opportunity to recognize the unsungheroes of the African American military history with special recognition for our local well-known African American heroes. This includes:

· 2nd Lt. Aaron Carter, youth leader of Project Infusion and recipient of the Massanutten Military Academy Commendations Medal for saving the life of a subordinate from drowning during a training exercise;

· Mr. Grailing J. Carter, U.S. Air Force Veteran, Service Officer of American Legion Post 114, and member of the Prince William Chapter of Disabled American Veterans who has devoted his life to assisting veterans with their disability claims;

· Mrs. Jaspen Boothe, founder of Final Salute, Inc., which is the only organization in the Washington, D.C. area and the only organization of its kind in the area, with only a few nationally, that offers housing to homeless female U.S. military veterans and their children;

· Sgt. Major Mark Byrd, Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps Base Quantico, whose awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two gold stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal with two gold stars, and the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

As Sgt. Major Byrd addressed the gathering, he spoke about volunteerism and how he became a volunteer to give back to his family for all of the time he was away from them when deployed.
“For me, there’ll be only one Mark Byrd. For each one of you in this room, there’ll be only one you,” stated Byrd. “Maximize your potential. Maximize your gifts, your opportunities to give to others. If we all do that, we’ll make the world a much better place.”

Also in honor of Black History Month, the Manassas Museum is offering Basement to Attic tours of Liberia Plantation on Feb. 8 and 22. The tour offers visitors a rare glimpse into the 1825 plantation home, currently under restoration, and a look at the lives of its slave population. Liberia Plantation served as headquarters for both Confederate and Union officers during the Civil War and was visited by President Abraham Lincoln. For tickets, visit

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Photo 1: Sgt. Major Mark Byrd, Tina Murray, founder of Project Infusion, Aaron Carter, and Grailing Carter.
Photo 2: Sgt. Major Mark Byrd and Jaspen Boothe

Patty Prince
Public Affairs Specialist
City of Manassas, VA

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