By Journalist Ms. Jones
WEST POINT – On Sunday, the 56th Annual Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Celebration was held at West Point. The theme was “Transform the Rock.” A Wreath Laying Ceremony was held near Buffalo Soldiers Field. This year it was laid in honor of Sgt. Sanders Matthews. The Buffalo Soldiers of West Point were honored for training cadets in horsemanship.
After the Wreath Laying Ceremony, hundreds of people attended a Memorial Banquet in Eisenhower Hall at West Point given by The Buffalo Soldiers Association in partnership with Phi Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi. The banquet was a fundraiser for the new Buffalo Soldiers monument.
“What’s being done to recognize, to acknowledge, and to cause others to know the great role and contributions that the Buffalo Soldiers made here at West Point through the training of future officers is a story that needs to be told and this monument that funds are being raised to support is one way of helping to tell that story,” said Retired Lieutenant General William E. “Kip” Ward who formerly taught at West Point and was the guest speaker at both the Wreath Laying Ceremony and Memorial Banquet.
President of the Buffalo Soldiers Association of West Point Dr. Aundrea Matthews hosted the Memorial Banquet.
“The Buffalo Soldiers at West Point were the ‘crème de la crème’ of the enlisted Black regiments that were in the army and they were brought to West Point to train the cadets on military tactics on horseback,” said Dr. Matthews.
The Buffalo Soldiers have a rich history that goes back to slavery. “The Buffalo Soldiers originally are the Black soldiers… that helped us fight with the Union and win the [Civil] War.
They are also known for clearing out the West so America could actually go to California… They participated in World War I and World War II,” said Dr. Matthews.
Mr. Eddie Dixon designed the Buffalo Soldiers of West Point monument. Visit www.buffalosoldiersofwestpoint.org for more information about the Buffalo Soldiers of West Point and how to donate to the monument.