See 10 Places Honoring Black War Heroes

These memorials celebrate our fallen men in uniform, from the Tuskegee Airmen to buffalo soldiers.

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    Jerry R. McRae

    The Tuskegee Airmen Memorial  

    These airmen are easily pop culture’s most acclaimed black war heroes, with countless toys and films honoring their valor. In 1997 this memorial was erected at Walterboro Army Airfield in South Carolina, where the airmen trained during World War II. 

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    Courtesy of discoverblackheritage.com

    Buffalo Soldiers Memorial

    “Buffalo soldiers” became the nickname of the black members of the 10th Cavalry Regiment of the U.S. Army in 1866, who are remembered most for their bravery and courage from the Civil War to World War II. Several monuments exist in their honor, including two in Kansas, where the original regiments were first formed. This one, commissioned by Gen. Colin Powell, was erected in 1992 in Leavenworth, Kan. The life-size statue illustrates a determined armed soldier leading his horse. 

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    Courtesy of the Museum of African American History, Boston

    Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial   

    It took almost 14 years for artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens to complete this intricate bronze monument, which was unveiled in Boston on May 31, 1897. It celebrates the valor and sacrifices of Col. Shaw and his regiment, whose members were some of the first African Americans to participate in the Civil War. Shaw’s story was brought to the big screen in 1989 in Glory, which starred Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman. 

     

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    Flickr/Boston Public Library

    Crispus Attucks (Boston Massacre) Monument   

    Erected in 1888 and located downtown on the Boston Common, it acknowledges the events of the Boston Massacre, when British soldiers killed five Bostonians. One of them was Attucks, who is often referred to the first casualty of the American Revolution. Although Attucks remains a mysterious figure in U.S. history — very little information about him can be verified — he is widely hailed as the first black hero of the war. His grave, located at Granary Burying Ground, is close to the monument.

     

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    Courtesy of discoverblackheritage.com

    Victory Monument

    Chicago’s Victory Monument was created to pay homage to the 8th Regiment of the Illinois National Guard, a unit of African-American soldiers who served in France during World War I. The picturesque monument, made of white granite and bronze, features five figures, including a life-size African-American woman draped in fabric to represent motherhood.

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    Richard E. Miller

    The Connecticut 29th Colored Regiment, C.V. Infantry Memorial

    The memorial, erected in 2008 in Fair Haven, Conn., is a circular space that features eight stone markers with a large edifice in the center. Each piece of the memorial, dedicated to the men of the regiment for their “coolness and bravery” during the Civil War, has an inscription with a soldier’s name. 

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    Courtesy of the Library of Congress

    The African American Civil War Memorial  

    Set in Washington, D.C.’s historic U Street neighborhood, the memorial commemorates the 209,145 African-American soldiers and sailors who fought for freedom in the Civil War. The site is complete with a walking and sitting area, walls with inscriptions of soldiers’ names and a 9-foot bronze statue. 

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    Courtesy of the African American Military History Museum

    African American Military History Museum

    The museum site, in Hattiesburg, Miss., used to be the USO Club, a space for black soldiers to convene while they served in the segregated Army of World War II. Today it houses mementos and artifacts that tell the story of African-American servicemen and their sacrifices during wartime, from the post-Civil War buffalo soldiers to modern-day struggles in the Middle East. 

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    R. Tarver

    All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors

    Dedicated on May 30, 1934, this memorial in Philadelphia pays homage to that city and its “colored soldiers.” The inscription on the back of the monument reads: “To commemorate the heroism and sacrifice of all colored soldiers who served in the various wars engaged in by the United States of America that a lasting record shall be made of their unselfish devotion to duty as an inspiration to future generations … “

     

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    The News Journal/Robin Brown

    The African-American Medal of Honor Recipients Memorial

    This Wilmington, Del., memorial, dedicated in 1998, was commissioned to acknowledge the African-American men and women who have been killed or declared missing in all wars since the Korean War. 

     

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