F. E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE – Airmen of the 90th Logistics Readiness Squadron relocated a memorial honoring the Buffalo Soldiers to a place of honor at the Base Cemetery, Oct. 6 on F. E. Warren Air Force Base.
The memorial had stood near the main gate on base since 1993, until a decision was made to place the three-ton stone and marker in a more prominent position on base.
“We felt it was important to honor the sacrifice of these soldiers by moving the stone closer to the cemetery,” said Col. Deane Konowicz, 90th Missile Wing Vice Commander. “Seeing as there are Buffalo Soldiers buried in that hallowed ground, it seemed fitting that the stone should be moved closer to their resting place.”
There was also a sense of maintaining a long tradition started in the early years of the installation, with Airmen sharing some of the same living and work spaces as those Buffalo Soldiers who came before.
“The men and women of the 90th Missile Wing serve this great nation on the foundation of service and sacrifice that the Buffalo Soldiers established at the turn of the last century on these same parade grounds, dorms, homes, and training areas,” said Konowicz. “We are proud to be part of that tradition and grateful to be able to recognize them in a more prominent way.”
From 1887 – 1916, hundreds of soldiers from the 9th and 10th Cavalry as well as the 24th Infantry, were stationed on Fort D. A. Russell, the Army post that would become F. E. Warren Air Force Base.
Those units comprised three of the four considered Buffalo Soldiers, and several of those soldiers are buried in the base cemetery.
“There are nearly twenty Buffalo Soldiers interred in the base cemetery,” said Kyle Brislan, Historian for the 90th Missile Wing. “those soldiers intermittently supported the mission at Fort Russell, protecting the people of Cheyenne and its neighboring regions for three decades.”
The stone and plaque memorialize the efforts of those soldiers who served the United States, even in an era of segregation and hostility.