Buffalo Soldiers Left a Legacy to Remember

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

Buffalo Soldiers Left a Legacy to Remember


Byline: Adrienne T. Washington, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Searching the Internet the other day, I came across a Web site that made me want to holler across the digital divide.

I was digging to discover more information about the heroic Buffalo Soldiers when I was directed to an inane film titled "Buffalo Soldiers," about an atypical Army unit of criminals stationed in Germany. The latter was anything but honorable.

In fact, the title is an insult to the thousands of black men who wore the moniker they were given by the Cheyenne and Comanche Indians as the badge of courage it was.

One of the site's bloggers, however, praised the humor of the off-color 2001 movie, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Ed Harris, and wrote that he thought the film was based on a group of black soldiers who had done some bad things. (Those erroneous comments have since been removed.)

Incensed, I was compelled to correct the record. Because I kept writing in capital letters, my corrective commentary kept being thrown back at me. "Do not shout your response," was the instruction I repeatedly received.

I persisted until I got it right.

With so much misinformation on the Web, it struck me why it is still important to continue Black History Month commemorations until this country gets it right.

All must be vigilant to weed out revisionist history.

One such group of vigilant and valiant men organized the Greater Washington, D.C., Buffalo Soldiers 9th & 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association to perpetuate the memory of their comrades who served in the U.S. military from the Civil War until the armed services were integrated after World War II.

This morning, the D.C. Buffalo Soldiers a chapter of the national organization will be honored in a ceremony at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Tomorrow at noon, the D.C. Buffalo Soldiers will conduct a wreath-laying at the Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery on Harewood Road Northwest as a "tribute to forgotten African-American Heroes" during Black History Month.

"We want to perpetuate the involvement of the Buffalo Soldiers for those who are not exposed. .. These are the forgotten few," said Clyde Fairfax, an original member of the D.C. chapter. "We want those at Soldiers' Home of subsequent wars to see that we are doing something to commemorate those who have gone before us."

Mr. Fairfax, like yours truly, is also concerned that people "will associate the Buffalo Soldiers with Hollywood actors. …

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