ABOVE: Captain Paul J. Matthews
This past Saturday, November 10th, the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and the French Veterans of Texas conducted the official dedication of the World War I Centennial Memorial to African American soldiers in celebration of Veterans Day. The event was held at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston.
This new partnership with The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and the French Veterans of Texas is designed to raise community awareness and give proper recognition to the African American soldiers who fought alongside French soldiers in World War I.
“The World War I Memorial continues the museum’s mission to honor the contributions and legacy of the African American soldier,” said Captain Paul J. Matthews. “These soldiers believed in the right to fight as equals for their country, despite racial discrimination during and after their enlistment.”
This World War I Centennial Memorial is part of the “100 Cities / 100 Memorials” program which honors the names of those who served and the history of the communities where they lived.
“Erecting this memorial was unimaginable 100 years ago,” said Pulchérie Gueneau de Novoa, of the Buffalo Soldier Museum World War I Committee. “Today, everyone wants to contribute and give the World War I African American soldiers proper recognition for their service and sacrifice. In a way, the memorial also holds a message of hope for the future.”
The 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program, which is sponsored by the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library with support from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, has designated 100 memorials in 100 cities as official “World War I Centennial Memorials.”
“The 100 Cities / 100 Memorial program was intended to stimulate community awareness of the local men and women who served with such distinction 100 years ago, stated Theo Mayer, Program Manager for the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission. “The program exceeded our hopes. [The Houston] project, in particular, has helped to raise awareness of the bittersweet African American experience of this period.”
For more information about the ceremony, visit www.buffalosoldiermuseum.com.