Buffalo Soldier Statue Rededication
Opens Black History Month Observance
(February 9, 2009)
Gen. George W. Casey Jr., chief of staff of the
Army, talks with members of a Buffalo Soldiers
chapter at the conclusion of a ceremony at the
Pentagon in Washington D.C., on Feb. 5, 2009.
Throughout America's history, from the Battle of
Lexington to the Battle for Fallujah, black
soldiers have served in America's armed forces.
During February, the Army celebrates and pays
tribute to African-American soldiers and
recognizes the important contributions they've
made in past and current wars.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2009 – The Army
reservist grandson of a Buffalo Soldier joined Army Chief of
Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. here today to rededicate a
statue honoring the soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry
Regiments, all-black units made up of former slaves,
freedmen and black Civil War soldiers.
The rededication of the Army's Eddie
Dixon replica Buffalo Soldier statue at the Pentagon kicked
off the Army's Black History Month commemoration.
“It is a time for all of us to celebrate the past, present
and future contributions of all African-Americans to this
nation,” Casey said during the ceremony.
The Buffalo Soldiers were highly respected for their
tenacity and bravery on the plains during the westward
movement and in the Spanish-American War and World War I
before being disbanded during World War II.
“They answered the call to service, and in
doing so, left an inspiring legacy,” Casey said.|
Army Sgt. 1st Class Greg Browne, an
operations noncommissioned officer at the U.S. Army Reserve
Command at Fort McPherson, Ga., is among those younger
generations who followed the Buffalo Soldiers' example. His
grandfather, Pfc. Sylvanus S. Browne, served with the 9th
Cavalry at the turn of the century, and became a
commissioned officer in 1917.
The younger Browne, who has
been mobilized for four years, said his
grandfather's stories about his service filled
him with pride and inspired him to join the
Army. He enlisted in 1981, the same year his
grandfather died, and he has worn the uniform
through 28 years of combined active-duty and
Today's ceremony felt great, he said, because it
ensures the story of the Buffalo Soldiers -- his
own family's story -- lives on.
“This is a story that must be told,” he said. “I
am going to carry it everywhere I go. I want my
children to know. I think we have a
responsibility to let the ones who come after us
to know the history.”
At the center of that story, Browne said, is the
Buffalo Soldiers' commitment to service when the
country needed them.
Sgt. 1st Class Craig Browne from the U.S. Army Reserve
Command observes a memorial dedicated to Buffalo Soldiers
prior to participating in a rededication ceremony for the
memorial at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., Feb. 5, 2009.
Browne's grandfather was a Buffalo Soldier with the 9th
“It's something very,
very strong and very, very powerful, and our family
cherishes it,” he said. “Everyone needs to serve the
Browne and Casey both noted President
Barack Obama's call during his inaugural address for all
Americans to serve in some capacity. Casey called it
striking that Obama had highlighted “the willingness of our
armed forces to sacrifice to find meaning in something
greater than ourselves” as an example to the country.
The Buffalo Soldiers statue, and the story of service behind
it, “represents the very heart of our president's call,”
“It represents service to the nation during a tough time --
service by Americans determined to make a better future for
those who follow them,” he added.
U.S. Army photos by D. Myles Cullen
American Forces Press Service
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