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African American Veterans from all five military branches have been honored with a monument to memorialize their service and contributions to the military.
The African American Veterans Monument was unveiled in Buffalo, New York on Saturday to honor Black military members who have served and are currently serving in all five branches of the military, during war and in peace times.
Black people have fought in all 12, while simultaneously breaking barriers, of the United States’ military conflicts since the country’s first war, whether they enlisted voluntarily, or were drafted.
— Sydni Eure (@SydniEure) September 24, 2022
African American Veterans Monument: A first in U.S. history
The monument features 12 black concrete pillars standing at 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide and placed in chronological order corresponding with each of the country’s 12 military conflicts.
The tops of the 12 black concrete pillars illuminate, representing the candles that families would put in their windows as a beacon to guide a soldier home. The light emanating from the top of each pillar continuously glows as an eternal reminder of the commitments made by Black veterans.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul was at the monument’s unveiling, sharing her excitement that Buffalo is home to the country’s first monument for Black veterans.
Our military’s history cannot be told without reflecting on the contributions of African Americans who served.
Proud that Buffalo is home to the country’s first African American Veterans Monument. We honor this history & are committed to passing it down to future generations. pic.twitter.com/2EILiTx2io
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) September 24, 2022
Warren Galloway, the monument’s organizing committee chairman, said “there are many cities that might have statues of African Americans, honored for World War I, or Vietnam or whatever. But there’s no other monument in the country that we researched that is a monument that acknowledges African Americans in all 12 conflicts. That’s the difference,” he said.
“That this monument is just not for honoring Vietnam, African Americans or World War I, or Korean War veterans. This monument honors every African American veteran from the Revolutionary War to now.”
The monument is a result of six years of planning and fundraising, and honors members from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines.