Legendary Buffalo soldier, Col. Charles Young, honored

(L to R)Charles Blatcher III and Dr. Andrew Ray

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Coalition of Black Veterans and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., proudly invites members of the House of Representatives, retired military Flag Officers, representatives of the Black veterans community, the press, and the public to join in commemorating the life of American soldier and military leader, Colonel Charles Young.

Colonel Young had an exemplary career and was the highest-ranking Black commanding officer in the U.S. Army from 1894 until his death in 1922.

“It is not an exaggeration of the facts to say that every Black Flag Officer from Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., to former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell owe their opportunity of advancement through the Flag Ranks to Colonel Charles Young,” said coalition Chair, Charles Blatcher III. “They reached their stars standing on his shoulders.”

“Omega Psi Phi is honored to join in a program in recognition of Col. Young,” said Dr. Andrew Ray, Grand Basileus. “His life’s work thoroughly represents our four Cardinal Principles of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift. Col. Young met the many formidable challenges with courage and fortitude. He pressed on through life, not because of, but in spite of the never-ending challenges.”

On Wednesday, June 5, representatives of the coalition and fraternity will gather at his grave to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Col. Young’s interment in Arlington Cemetery. The public is invited to join in commemorating the achievements of this great Buffalo Soldier and renew the call to have him posthumously appointed Brigadier General by President Barack Obama. Rev. Dr. Fred Douglas Smith, Jr., professor of Urban Ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. will address the gathering with words of spiritual enlightenment, followed by comments from Chairman Charles Blatcher III, Grand Basileus Dr. Andrew Ray, and other distinguished guests.

The trio will present the colonel with a ceremonial star wreath in honor of the unselfish contribution he made in paving the way for Blacks in the officer’s ranks of the armed forces, as well as to commemorate the official proclamation from President Barack Obama naming his home in Wilberforce, Ohio a National Monument.

The coalition has been working diligently to see Col. Young promoted to the honorary rank of Brigadier General. In addition to raising his rank, they hope to erect a statue in his honor that will be the first portrayal of a Black military officer on horseback in the nation’s Capitol.

The program will commence at 2:30 pm on June 5, but guests are asked to arrive at 1:30 pm to board the buses that will take them to the gravesite.

A private dinner will follow to honor the 35 Congressional Representatives who have joined the coalition in calling on President Obama for a promotion proclamation honoring Col. Young. The guest speaker for the ‘Evening on Capitol Hill Dinner’ will be Dr. Sandra Jowers-Barber, professor of history from the University of the District of Columbia. The topic of presentation will be the ‘Importance of Black History.’ The dinner is by invitation only.

For additional information on the program, contact the coalition at: <cnmmmf@aol.com>.