Jon Covington, a retired Air Force master sergeant and a Buffalo Soldiers history buff, worked with many for six years to see the Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Plaza built at Quincie Douglas Center.
The memorial was unveiled at a May ceremony and celebration in the historically African American neighborhood at East 36th Street and South Kino Boulevard.
It pays homage and tells the history of the all-Black cavalry and infantry regiments that were established by Congress in 1866. Four regiments — the 9th and 10th Calvary Regiments and the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments — were all stationed at Fort Huachuca.
Highlighted among its history are 18 Buffalo Soldiers who received the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor awarded by Congress. The medal recipients in Arizona were Sgt. Benjamin Brown, Cpl. Isaiah Mays and Sgt. William McBryar.
The plaza, designed by Wheat Design Group, is a semi-circle design with brick pavers and decorative concrete. Vegetation includes red fairy dusters, purple salvias, winter blooming aloes and sage color candelillas. There is shaded and quiet space for visitors.
“The memorial is a great piece of history. We are trying to tell a story so visitors get a sense of the Buffalo Soldiers, and what they went through during a time of segregation in the military, and their work in settling the West and Southwest,” said Covington, co-chair of the memorial project and member of the Greater Southern Arizona Area Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers.
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