By Veterans Day 2018, Buffalo, New York, will be home to the United States’ first monument that honors all African-American Veterans.  The African-American Veterans Monument, to be located at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park, will recognize the contributions of African Americans who have served and are currently serving in all five branches of the military, during war and in times of peace.  African Americans have fought in all 12 of the United States’ military conflicts since the country’s first, whether they enlisted voluntarily or were drafted.

A committee of local African-American Veterans, African-American historians, Watts Engineering and Uniland Development have led the planning for the monument with the support and convening of the office of Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes.

“We are humbled to work alongside the tireless volunteers whose idea it was to establish the first monument of its kind right here in Buffalo,” said Peoples-Stokes. “The contributions of African Americans to the country’s military is an understated piece of history that my office has committed itself to shedding light on. In partnership with the Buffalo & Erie County Naval Park, the city, the county and my colleagues in the assembly and senate, we are excited to announce this project to the community and look forward to its completion.”

The design of the African-American Veterans Monument is a matrix, serving as both a timeline and map of longitudinal coordinates. Each of the 12 black concrete pillars that will be 10 feet tall, and 3 feet wide, are placed in a chronological sequence, corresponding to the dates that each of the country’s 12 military conflicts took place. The matrix’s longitudinal coordinates represent the location where the war began. The spacing between the pillars represent peace times between each war.

The tops of the 12 black concrete pillars will 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 will continuously glow as an eternal reminder of the commitments made by African-American Veterans.  The Monument’s design was created by Solid 716.

“This is a project the African-American community has talked about for years, said Warren Galloway,” chair of the African-American Veterans Committee and Veteran of the Air Force.  “The Erie County Chapter of the Links started with an exhibit that has recorded the names of deceased African American Veterans that lived in Western New York.  From that project, the idea for a monument was birthed and our committee was formed under the leadership of Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes.  We are excited to announce the plans to the community.”

Construction of the monument will begin in the spring once the total budget for the project is raised.  The community can honor a Veteran through the purchase of an engraved brick paver that will line the walkways of the monument for $250. For more information visit

About the authors: Daphne Ross and Aziza Abdul-Alim are consultants for the African American Veterans Monument Committee.  

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Published on Apr. 3, 2018

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  1. danielle dillard May 1, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    I used to work with the assembly woman and now I’m in the military! I would love to contribute and help out in anyway! Thank you for recognizing the sacrifice of serving!

  2. Deborah Alvarez April 11, 2018 at 8:14 am

    In 1948 President Harry Truman ordered Desegregation of the Armed Forces. The facts are that America’s history Began with discrimination.
    America’s military did not believe black slaves were capable of fighting in the wars most of these slaves were still not free even after they fought in the wars. Now That’s Discrimination. Veterans should know All Veterans true history.

  3. John B. April 6, 2018 at 11:19 am

    I agree with the April 6 post !!!!

    • Charles April 6, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      I agree there is just one type of Veteran. We all served we have all sacrificed. So why must we so more support over all the rest of us veterans. Stop the typical raciest divide and support all veterans equally.

  4. john browning April 6, 2018 at 10:11 am

    this monument is discriminatory because it is race-based. A veteran is a veteran, no gender or race boost points/special treatment allowed

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