July 25, 1992

Dear Buffalo Soldiers and Friends:

For more than eight decades - from their creation in 1866 until the Army was integrated in 1952 - the Buffalo Soldiers served the United States with great dedication. Words such as "bravery," "discipline," "fearlessness," and "endurance" were consistently part of official reports about these troops.

In campaigns from the American West to Cuba to the Philippines, these soldiers continually earned a place in our nation's history. They accomplished more, with less, than any other fighting men. Most of the first Buffalo Soldiers were freed slaves. They lived in inadequate housing, received the worst food and equipment, and were subjected to racial discrimination.

Despite these challenges, their performance was exemplary. Their morale remained high, and their desertion rate was the lowest in the Army. They repeatedly were cited for heroism and dedication to duty. In fact, Buffalo Soldiers have been honored for their bravery and service more than any other American military unit, including twenty-three Congressional Medal of Honor winners.

It has been an honor to serve as honorary co-chairman of the Buffalo Soldier Monument Committee. In that capacity, I have seen firsthand the work and dedication of the committee members and countless others who have supported this tribute. I particularly want to express my appreciation to the leadership of General Colin Powell and Carlton Philpot. Without their efforts, the accomplishments of this week would still be a dream.

It is my hope that the events this week do not represent the end of our effort to honor the Buffalo Soldiers but the beginning of a movement to give them a proper place in American history. They deserve no less.

Warmest regards,

Nancy Landon Kassebaum
United States Senator

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