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Measure to name Champaign post office after WWII veteran heads to president's desk


CHAMPAIGN, Illinois — Legislation to name the Champaign post office after an African-American World War II veteran has been sent to President Barack Obama.

James Burgess Jr. was a leader of the first African-American armored battalion in World War II. He also served as Champaign County state's attorney and a U.S. attorney before his 1997 death.

His son Steve led an effort to honor Burgess by naming a government building after him.

On Tuesday, U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk and U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said a bill to designate the Champaign post office as the James R. Burgess Jr. Post Office Building passed the full Senate. It's now awaiting Obama's approval.

Davis says it's a small token of Illinois' gratitude for Burgess and for his son, who died unexpectedly last year.

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