August 19, 2022

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Sarah Keys: A First Army Trailblazer

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#Service Member #Honor #Veteran’s Day #Civil Rights #Civil Rights Movement #Veterans #First Army #Civil Rights Movement United States #Honor and Courage #Veteran’s Day 2020 #Sarah K Evans #Sarah Keys Evans #PFC Sarah Keys #Civil Rights Pioneer

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Sarah Keys: A First Army Trailblazer
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, IL, UNITED STATES
11.05.2020

On this Veteran’s Day, November 11th, 2020, we at First Army commemorate one of our own veterans who served this country, and not just in uniform.

In 1952, while on a bus trip home, PFC Sarah Keys was woken in Roanoke Rapids by the bus driver and told to move to the back of the bus. Keys refused and was hauled off to jail. Since she was in her Army dress uniform Key’s refused to get it dirty and stood for thirteen hours in the cell. In the morning she was fined and released.

Once she returned home Keys filed a case with the Interstate Commerce Commission. The commission ruled against Keys.

She filed an appeal, and later that year received a phone call. Her case had won. The Commission ruled that neither interstate buses nor trains could assign seating based on the color of a passenger’s skin.

Two weeks later Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, a move that changed the rules for local busses as well.

This year, as we’ve watched our nation struggle with our painful legacy of racism and prejudice, as we’ve seen hurt and anger surface in every corner of our land, we at First Army find ourselves grateful for a legacy and Soldier like PFC Keyes.

Film Credits: Video by Sgt. Aaron Berogan
First Army

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