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Memorial to Buffalo Soldiers relocated to place of honor

airmen loading memorial stone on forklift

Senior Airman Jacob Cabana loads the Buffalo Soldier memorial stone onto a forklift while Master Sgt. Ronald Barnett guides him during the stone's relocation Oct. 6, 2020 to the base cemetery on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. The memorial stone was relocated to a location of greater prominence in honor of the sacrifice of the Buffalo Soldier units who served at Fort D. A. Russell from 1877 to 1916. Three of the four Buffalo Soldier units served at various times at the U.S. Army post that would become F. E. Warren AFB. (U. S. Air Force photo by Glenn S. Robertson)

Airman placing straps on memorial stone

Senior Airman Matthew Yap secures straps around the Buffalo Soldier memorial stone in preparation of the stone's relocation Oct. 6, 2020 to the base cemetery on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. The memorial stone was relocated to a location of greater prominence in honor of the sacrifice of the Buffalo Soldier units who served at Fort D. A. Russell from 1877 to 1916. Three of the four Buffalo Soldier units served at various times at the U.S. Army post that would become F. E. Warren AFB. (U. S. Air Force photo by Glenn S. Robertson)

loading memorial stone on forklift

Senior Airman Jacob Cabana guides the forks of a forklift under the Buffalo Soldier memorial stone while Master Sgt. Ronald Barnett provides safety instructions in preparation of the stone's relocation Oct. 6, 2020 to the base cemetery on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. The memorial stone was relocated to a location of greater prominence in honor of the sacrifice of the Buffalo Soldier units who served at Fort D. A. Russell from 1877 to 1916. Three of the four Buffalo Soldier units served at various times at the U.S. Army post that would become F. E. Warren AFB. (U. S. Air Force photo by Glenn S. Robertson)

Buffalo Soldier stone at sunrise

The memorial to Buffalo Soldiers rests at its place of honor at sunrise Oct. 8, 2020 on the base cemetery on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. The memorial stone was relocated to a location of greater prominence in honor of the sacrifice of the Buffalo Soldier units who served at Fort D. A. Russell from 1877 to 1916. Three of the four Buffalo Soldier units served at various times at the U.S. Army post that would become F. E. Warren AFB. (U. S. Air Force photo by Glenn S. Robertson)

F. E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --

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, 2020 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 19 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.