County Commissioner, Precinct 4
Commissioner Calvert to announce Buffalo Soldiers Monument Location and
Process at Veteran’s Day Ceremonies
Written by KROV News Department on November 10, 2021
To Honor Indigenous People and promote reconciliation, Calvert selects a new monument
location, provides more funding, and creates a diverse Oversight Committee to promote unity
Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert Jr. will announce that Pletz County Park will be the new location of a Buffalo Soldiers monument. The monument and its process will initiate efforts to bring healing, reconciliation, and unity among those whose heritage are represented by this monument. Commissioner Calvert will announce the details
about the monument’s new location and process at 11:00 a.m. at Fred Brock VFW Post 828, 3415 Martin Luther King Drive; and at 1:30 p.m. at the Buffalo Soldiers Veterans Day Commemorative Ceremony, at the San Antonio National Cemetery, 517 Paso Hondo. Changing the location of the monument allows Calvert to provide additional parks department funds, which, he allocated in this year’s County budget for Pletz Park. Buffalo soldiers were African American soldiers, many of who were formerly enslaved, that served on the Western frontier following the American Civil War.
On June 12, 2021, Commissioner Calvert was a keynote speaker for a ceremony erecting a historical marker in honor of the Buffalo Soldiers at San Pedro Park; where the Buffalo Soldiers were stationed. There, Calvert announced he would work to deliver $400,000 for a monument to the Buffalo Soldiers. On September 14, 2021, Commissioner’s Court passed the funding for the monument. Commissioner Tommy Calvert will direct the committee to interpret the uplifting and heroic actions of the Buffalo Soldiers, emphasizing their primary legacy which promotes:
• National unity
• Reconciliation between Blacks, Indigenous People, and other ethnic groups
• Overcoming racism and sexism
• Post-colonial reconciliation
• Healing the wounds of genocide
• And promote how the Buffalo Soldiers legacy expanded freedom, justice, the
constitution, American ideals, and the work towards a more perfect union
The first phase will include naming a committee to oversee the project. The county will also contract a historian to assist the committee in their charge and maintain historical accuracy. The county will also set up a call for monument sculptors.“Bexar County and this monument can be a place for the healing of America’s divisions so that we can live together in peace. I heard the concerns of our Indigenous brothers and sisters and I want them to know that they will be respected in this process and we can all be inspired to reach our better angels through this monument,” said Commissioner Tommy Calvert. On December 1917, in the largest known court-martial in U.S. history, thirteen Buffalo Soldiers were tried at the Gift Chapel at Fort Sam Houston and hung on the banks of Salado Creek; near where Commissioner Calvert plans to erect the monument. A total of 118 enlisted black soldiers were indicted with 110 found guilty, 13 hanged, and 63 receiving life sentences. Calvert seeks a diverse monument committee made up of the Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Association, Indigenous Groups, the US Center of Military History, National Park Service, Texas Historical Association, Buffalo Soldier Museum, religious and other community leaders.
About The Buffalo Soldiers
In 1866, six all-black cavalry and infantry regiments were created after Congress passed the Army Organization Act. Their main tasks were to help control the Native American population of the plains, capture cattle rustlers, thieves; and protect settlers, stagecoaches, wagon trains, and railroad crews along the Western front. In addition to the military campaigns, the Buffalo Soldiers served a variety of roles along the frontier, from building roads to escorting the U.S. mail. They were ordered to San Antonio, Texas, in April 1867. The soldiers’ main mission was to secure the road from San Antonio to El Paso and maintain order in areas disrupted by Indigenous people, many of whom were frustrated with life on Indian reservations and broken promises by the federal government. The Black soldiers, facing their own forms of discrimination from the U.S. government such as inferior equipment, bad living conditions, and persecution in cities where they were stationed, had the task of removing another minority group in the U.S. government’s name.
About Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert Jr.
Commissioner Tommy Calvert is the first black County Commissioner elected in Bexar County history, he also is a descendant of Indigenous peoples through his great grandmother. He led the American Anti-Slavery Group in Boston, which helped fight slavery and genocide worldwide. He helped successfully pass the first resolution in U.S. history to declare a conflict a genocide (obligating the US to act), the Sudan Peace Act and the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act. The passage of these laws expanded freedom and democracy and led to the formation of two of the world’s newest nations. Calvert was chosen as honorary civilian commander of the 12th Flying Wing and 433rd Flying Wing of the US Air Force.