BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Veterans point out, there are monuments, even entire museums, dedicated to the contributions of African Americans in this country’s fight for freedom.
But founders of Buffalo’s African American Veterans Monument say this is the first testament to their taking part in all of America’s wars.
This was the first Naval and Military Park Memorial Day service recognizing the African American Veterans Monument.
The monument has been in the planning stages for more than four years, and the design features 12 black 10-foot columns representing America’s 12 wars and military conflicts going all the way back to the death of Crispus Attucks, an escaped slave who was the first to be cut down by British troops in the Boston Massacre of 1770.
” That African Americans had been serving in every war that this country has been in–every major conflict–from the Revolutionary War to where we are now, the War on Terrorism,” said Warren Galloway.
Galloway, an Air Force veteran, is chairman of the African American Veterans Monument planning committee.
Galloway says the monument is designed to be a memorial and educational, showing African Americans continued to fight for this country despite second-class status until America’s armed forces were desegrated in 1948.
“From helping to build buildings and highways and roads, but we are also out there defending the democracy of this country, and what this country stands for.”
The monument was in the planning stages until the one and a half million dollar cost was accounted for. Now the design has been updated with an audible component.
People will be able to use their smartphones and IPads to key on things and get a verbal history that will be more extensive than what they can read.
With the funding now in place, the monument’s planning committee is set to meet Tuesday with city officials to come up with a timeline for putting the project out to bid, and having the monument ready to go by later this year.
Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here.