As Veteran’s Day approaches, locals are remembering Eartha White, the creator of the Clara White Mission, named after her mother.
White was known to help everyone in the community, including veterans, often she would lay wreaths on Veteran’s Day. On Sunday, people returned to her grave site at the Old City Cemetery to honor her and those who served this country.
″Clara White and Eartha White, the mother and daughter, are laid to rest here, and today we have her picture and a wreath that we’re also going to put on her grave," said Founder and CEO of the Clara White Mission Ju’Coby Pittman.
Dozens came to honor the woman who has helped so many in the community, including veterans.
White was born in 1876.
"The event is to celebrate our founder, Dr. Eartha M. M. White, her 144th birthday,' said Pittman.
At a time when the city was segregated and divided, she was known to bring people together. She was known of one of a few African American women that could go between the black and white community, to get a lot of social issues addressed.
White was also known for honoring the servicemen and women of this country.
“Every year on Veteran’s Day, she would come to the cemetery and put wreaths and flags on the headstones of the veterans that were here. And so, we wanted to continue that tradition," said Pittman.
Though White is gone, so many people are committed to keeping her legacy alive by bringing the community together and honoring those that have protected this country.
Veteran’s Day is November 11th.
“It’s fantastic that we’re celebrating an icon for Jacksonville. And it could have been just a celebration of her birthday, but it speaks to the type of person she was and the nature of her character to also want to celebrate Veteran’s Day, which isn’t today, but it’s next week. But it’s just fantastic event all over, and it’s just fantastic that people came out to support it," said United States Navy veteran Captain Wayne Young.
“The diversity of our community is reflected here in this cemetery. What we saw here today with people coming together is reflective what diversity we have here in our community, and how well people do get along," said Young.
″In this cemetery are heroes and ‘sheroes’ who were leaders in this community. You have individuals who were in the Civil War. You have the Confederate soldiers that are here. It is a diverse cemetery of the history of Jacksonville, and it represents the individuals who, who still stand up for us, even today," said Pittman.