Saturday, March 31, 2018
The African Union (AU) Mission to the United States has paid tribute to fallen Africans who took part in the First World War and other historical wars. AU Permanent Representative to the United States, Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao said the contribution of Africans in previous world wars has to be documented of for younger generations to appreciate the role that their forefathers played in fostering world peace. Ambassador Chihombori-Quao said this when she laid a wreath at the Los Angeles National Cemetery in honor of Africans who fought in various wars abroad.
“We must make sure that we are no longer footnotes in world history so that our children and future generations can know about the crucial role that our forefathers played in the first world war and even the American war of independence against the British, Africans can only begin to heal when we know our history and where we came from,” said Ambassador Chihombori-Quao, noting that hundreds of thousands of Africans lost their lives in those battles. She said that by combining history, links can be established between Americans and Africans.
Tom Ruck, Director of the LA National Cemetery Veterans Departments said that they will make it an annual event to highlight the role of Africans and African Americans in military wars to showcase the sacrifice they made. “Every nation that has fought a battle has lost a mother, father, brother, sister, son, and daughter. We as a world should be able to celebrate their lives and contributions.”
The AU flag and those of each African country represented in Los Angeles were flown at the colorful ceremony also attended by military dignitaries, amid band performances. In addition, historian Hank Elder gave a brief account of Africans who were drafted into various wars. These include Buffalo soldiers - African-American men who served on the US western frontier, and Maroons of Jamaica who escaped slavery on the island of Jamaica and established free communities.
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Note to Editors
The African Union Mission to the United States of America is situated in Washington DC. Our mission is to Africa here in the United States; build, sustain, and nurture the bilateral relationship between the United States and the African Union; educate and inform Americans about important African issues of mutual interest; grow our working relationships with the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organization of American States; and build vibrant constituencies for Africa through engagement.