Oliver Hill Remembered

By: Lindsey Ward Email
By: Lindsey Ward Email

August 11, 2007

A Virginia civil rights leader was remembered Saturday in Richmond. A memorial service for Oliver Hill took place Saturday morning at the governor's mansion.

Hundreds lined up outside of the governor's mansion to pay their respects to the man who helped change the face of the American school system forever.

"Our children need to know from early on how important it is to serve, and he gave his life in service for us," said Mary Hicks.

Public figures, citizens and Hill's family members filed in to view Hill's body laying in repose.

Hill was a civil rights attorney who stood at the forefront of the historic court case that outlawed segregation in American schools. That case, Davis vs. County School Board of Prince Edward County, became one of five cases that made it to the supreme court under Brown vs. The Board of Education.

"We all, I believe, need to recommit ourselves to the principles that he [Hill] fought for and advocated his whole life, and that is equal opportunity for all people here in Virginia and across America," said former Virginia Governor George Allen.

Oliver Hill Jr., thanked the public for their response following his father's death, and said their support is validation of his father's accomplishments.

"It just lets us know how many people he touched, both black and white and he really was instrumental in transforming the Commonwealth. We really are so grateful for the outpouring of gratitude and support from everybody," Said Hill Jr.

Oliver Hill died last Sunday at the age of 100. A memorial service will be held Sunday at the greater Richmond Convention Center.

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