Congress honors slaves who helped build U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional leaders and the chaplains of the House and Senate have dedicated a new stone marker to the slaves who helped build the U.S. Capitol building.

Today's ceremony was held on the next to last day of Black History Month.

The House chaplain, Father Patrick Conroy, noted that the Bible's book of Jeremiah says, "Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, making his countrymen work for nothing, not paying them for their labor."

Conroy called the historic marker in the Capitol's Visitor Center's Emancipation Hall "a small acknowledgement of those sins."

Senate Chaplain Barry Black, who is African American, said the ceremony should be a reminder that "in eternity, many who are now first will be last, and many who are now last will be first."