JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Nov. 14, 2013) -- The courage and bravery of the first peacetime, all African-American regiments in the regular Army were recognized by the commanding general of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command during a keynote address Nov. 11 in San Antonio.
Brig. Gen. Kirk Vollmecke addressed approximately 200 people in attendance at the annual Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Commemorative Ceremony at the San Antonio National Cemetery.
The Veterans Day event honored the past heroes of the historic Buffalo Soldiers comprised of former slaves, freed men and black Civil War veterans.
"Today I want us to not only remember their gallantry on the battlefield, but also look at the lasting legacy of strength and service the Buffalo Soldiers and all veterans gave our nation," Vollmecke said during comments at the event.
He added that all owe veterans of yesterday and today our sincere gratitude and respect.
"The brave actions of Buffalo Soldiers and veterans today live on in the pages of history. This is an important piece of history that should never be lost," he said.
Billy Gordon, the Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Association president, said the commanding general's call to action to honor Soldiers on Veterans Day helped increase attendance at this year's commemorative ceremony.
"His intense interest and promotion of this segment of our great nation's military history of contribution and sacrifice was infectious to many, which resulted in making this year's ceremony a great success," Gordon said. "The Mission and Installation Contract Command played a key role in support of this year's banner program, of which the Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Association is highly grateful of those efforts.
In addition to the keynote address by MICC commanding general, Soldiers representing the Army Contracting Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston served as honor guard members for the event.
The Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Association is a multicultural organization dedicated to
educating the general public about the contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers and black Indian Scouts in settling the West of the United States during the 1800s. The annual commemorative ceremony on Veterans Day was held this year in conjunction with San Antonio's Celebrate America's Military tribute.