Monday, September 26, 2011

Honoring the Buffalo Soldiers, Concordia Cemetery in El Paso

One of the best stories and most distinguished histories coming out of our region is that of the Buffalo Solider. 
Many visitors to our region appreciate Fort Davis National Historic Site's connection to Buffalo Soldiers.  Yet our history goes beyond Fort Davis.

Enthusiastic volunteers keep the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers alive elsewhere.  For example, different groups of volunteers have worked together in El Paso to honor the soldiers.  One of the best places to see their work is in Concordia Cemetery in the shadow of the Franklin Mountains in the center of the city.  Click here to see the website of the Buffalo Soldiers, Donnie W. Brown Chapter, 9th & 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association of El Paso, Texas.

Here's a quote from their website:  "When the Plains Indians first saw the men of the 10th Cavalry wearing with their dark skins, curly hair and wearing fur overcoats they referred to them as "Buffalo Soldiers." The nickname "Buffalo Soldiers" was originally given to the 10th Cavalry by Cheyenne warriors out of respect for their fierce fighting in 1867. The Cheyenne Native American term used was actually "Wild Buffaloes", which was translated to "Buffalo Soldiers." In time, all African American Soldiers became known as "Buffalo Soldiers." Despite second-class treatment these soldiers made up first-rate regiments of the highest caliber and had the lowest desertion rate in the Army."
True West magazine named Concordia Cemetery one of the "Best Preserved Gravesites in the West," and that's because of the countless hours put in by volunteers to preserve the cemetery and interpret the stories of the people of El Paso.  An entire section of the cemetery is dedicated to the graves and the service of the Buffalo Soldiers.  Hats off to the volunteers of the Concordia Heritage Association and the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club for all their hard work!

Watch the memorial as it is built, through photos posted by the El Paso Buffalo Soliders Motorcycle down at this link!

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