City of Buffalo Celebrates the First Ever ‘Black Veterans Day’ in the U.S.


by Veracity Savant

November 13, 2023

It also marked the 75th anniversary of the executive order to desegregate the U.S. military!

This past week, local leaders in Buffalo, New York, gathered to celebrate the city’s first-ever “Black Veterans Day,” WGRZ 2 On Your Side news reports. The proclamation to declare November 7th Black Vets Day in the City of Buffalo was signed by Mayor Byron Brown in what he and the day’s co-founder, Dewitt Lee, called a small token of appreciation for the Black service women and men in the armed forces. 

“It’s just a small gesture of saying we appreciate you and we thank you for all that you’ve done,” said Lee. 


November 7, 1775, was an important date in history, marking the moment the English offered to manumit enslaved people who joined the British army during the American Revolution. It was a pivotal moment in history, opening the door for Americans to follow suit and pave the way for the eventual freeing of all enslaved Africans in America. 

Local leaders gathered last Tuesday at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park in homage to Black veterans. Together, they got down on their hands and knees to scrub and clean the military-style dog tags honoring living and fallen Black veterans in memory of their service. 

Lee called it a special moment for the city. Not only was it the first celebration for Black veterans in the city of Buffalo, but it was also the first in the United States, Canada becoming the first to observe the holiday last year, WKBW news reports. In addition, this year also marked the 75th anniversary of the executive order, which prompted the desegregation of the U.S. military, all equally important moments for Black veterans that cannot be forgotten. 


“Today is a special day in a special place…Every ethnicity that sacrificed and served for this country and that went through all of the obstacles just to fight for a country at many times didn’t fight for them. So, we think that story cannot be forgotten, and it must be celebrated,” said Lee. 

Cover photo: City of Buffalo Celebrates the First Ever ‘Black Veterans Day’ in the U.S./Photo by CNN

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