The Monument

The African American Veterans Monument, located at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, is the first of its kind to recognize the contributions of African Americans who have served and are currently serving in all six branches of the military, during war and in peace times. African Americans have fought in all 12 of the United States’ military conflicts since the country’s first war, whether they enlisted voluntarily, or were drafted. This Monument honors the contributions made by African American Veterans

The Design

The African American Veterans Monument is designed as a matrix, serving as both a timeline and map of longitudinal coordinates. Each of the 12 black concrete pillars stand 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide, and are placed in a chronological sequence, corresponding to the dates that each of the country’s 12 military conflicts took place. The matrix’s longitudinal coordinates represent the location where the war began. The spacing between the pillars represent peace times between each war.

The tops of the 12 black concrete pillars illuminate, representing the candles that families would put in their windows as a beacon to guide a soldier home. The light emanating from the top of each pillar continuously glows as an eternal reminder of the commitments made by African American Veterans.

The Monument was designed by Jonathan Casey and the team at Solid 716.

Be A Part of History

Join our community of generous supporters by donating to the African American Veterans Monument. Your support fortifies our mission to educate visitors and beyond on the cultural contributions and sacrifices made by African Americans in the Armed Forces.

The Idea

In 2014, The Erie County Chapter of the Links, Inc. commissioned a project to record the names of all deceased Western New York African American Veterans. The project was introduced to the community in 2016.

Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, then Assemblywoman and now New York State majority leader, committed to convening a committee to plan the construction of the country’s first Monument to honor African American Veterans.


Monument Unveiling

Construction progress