Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Yes Joshua, there still are Buffalo Soldier.

The following is a fictionalized account of an event that did not really take place. But then, isn’t that what fictionalize means? Anyway, because this is the holiday season, and after meeting the little trooper, Joshua Sims, I thought I would have some fun with an editorial by newsman, Francis Pharcellus Church. Mr. Church wrote a response to a letter from a little 8-year old girl named Virginia. His editorial was published in New York’s “The Sun” newspaper on September 21, 1897. It has become known as, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause,” and it is a reminder that the Holiday Season is truly a time for our children. So, without further adieu I give you:

“Yes, Joshua there still are Buffalo Soldiers.”

Dear Editor: I am a 3rd grader at the C.L.A.S. Charter School. This past October I dressed as a Buffalo Soldier for our Fall Festival. All my little friends told me that there were no more Buffalo Soldiers. I asked my mother and she said, “If you read it in the BUGLE CALL it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, are there still Buffalo Soldiers?

Joshua Sims

Los Angeles, CA.

Joshua, your little friends are wrong. They have been deprived by a lack of books, movies and programming that should be available to cover the rich history that is the Buffalo Soldiers. They have been affected by an institutionalized attempt to withhold the contributions of African Americans to the development, growth and protection of this great nation. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Joshua, whether they be man’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Joshua, there still are Buffalo Soldiers. They exists as surely as devotion, unselfishness, generosity and love for this country exists, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How different would the world be if there never were any Buffalo Soldiers? If would be as different as if there never was a Joshua. There would be no childlike faith then, no childlike curiosity and infinite imagination to make tolerable this existence. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Without the Buffalo Soldiers there would be no Tuskegee Airmen, no Montfort Point Marines and no Triple Nickel Parachute Unit; there would be no Navajo Code Talkers or 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated regiment in the history of the United States armed forces and they were made up of Japanese Americans. Without the Buffalo Soldiers there would be no minorities or women in the military. The Buffalo Soldiers were the first minorities to serve in the regular peacetime military and they opened the door for all the minorities who came after them.

Joshua, the number of original Buffalo Soldiers gets smaller everyday. They are the last of our World War II and Korean War veterans. But even after the last one of them has gone, the Buffalo Soldiers will continue to exist. They will exist because of you Joshua and children like you. When you dress-up as a Buffalo Soldier you are helping to keep their memory alive. When your friends ask you who were the Buffalo Soldiers, and you’re able to tell their story; you are helping to keep their legacy going. And when people are able to read the truth about the Buffalo Soldiers in the BUGLE CALL, I am helping to educate an uninformed populace about the contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers and together Joshua, you and I will keep their memory alive.

Yes Joshua, because of you there will always be Buffalo Solders.