The Buffalo Soldiers, an all-black unit of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, have a gallant history of fighting in the American western frontier post the American Civil War, to protecting National Parks to performing with distinction in the Spanish-American War and then, ultimately, honorably training the cadets at West Point in mounted drill and tactics for 40 years from 1907 to 1947.
The U.S. Military Academy and the Buffalo Soldiers Association of West Point celebrated and honored the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers of the U.S. Military Academy Cavalry Detachment during the 62nd annual wreath-laying ceremony on Sept. 3 at the Buffalo Soldier Monument at Buffalo Soldier Field on West Point.
This year’s ceremony involved several distinguished guests, including Principal Chief Ronald Yonaguska Holloway of the SandHill Band of Lenape and Cherokee Indians, Superior Chief Tureygua Taino Cay of the Cibuco-Bayamon Taino Tribe, and retired Maj. Gen. Barrye L. Price, current president and CEO of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.
U.S. Corps of Cadets Chaplain Matthew Pawlikowski ’86 began the ceremony with an invocation but also provided enlightening words about the Buffalo Soldiers.
“Today, at Buffalo Soldier Field, in the shadow of this statue, we are reminded of a whole regiment of Soldiers who through the performance of their duty and high standards of excellence, even in spite of gross injustice in their day, demonstrated the dignity of the human person and communicated the importance of dignity to leaders of our country here at West Point,” Pawlikowski said. “Today, we are grateful for the memory of our Buffalo Soldiers.”