WW II vets inducted at ceremony
Four World War II veterans are now officially members of the Buffalo Soldiers.
On Saturday, the Buffalo Soldiers from Terry Allen Jr. American Veterans Post 910 inducted the four – Richard Alexander, James Ferrell, Joe “Buster” Lowe and Henry Wilkerson. The ceremonies took place at the Clay-Wood Community Center in Newnan.
The Buffalo Soldiers started the ceremony with Charles Weldon, first vice commander of the post, speaking. “Thank you for your service… and it’s an honor to know you,” he told the honorees.
Weldon called upon four members of the post to read testimonials to Lowe, Alexander, Ferrell and Wilkerson. Once the testimonial was read the men were served their awards.
The awards consisted of the trademark yellow bandana that is to be worn around the neck, a black hat with both a yellow tie and the Buffalo Soldier symbol pinned to the front and a plaque stating that the new members are honorary members for life for their service in the military. According to Weldon the men were chosen “because they are veterans of the armed forces… We are growing so we are trying to get every veteran in Newnan into the organization.”
Not many people outside of Civil War history classroom know who the Buffalo Soldiers are. In 1866 Congress established two divisions of the Buffalo Soldiers, incorporating them into the 9th and 10th cavalry.
This all African-American cavalry was comprised of soldiers who took on hard fights and were considered to be some of the military’s most fearless fighters. They were known as soldiers who refused to give up.
The Buffalo Soldiers with the American Veterans are still serving the community. The soldiers “collect money to help disabled veterans, homeless veterans, any veterans,” Weldon said. “And if we collect enough money we’ll not only help veterans; we’ll help kids, adults, anybody.”
All of the newly inducted men, who are from the Newnan and Coweta County area, had many friends and family members around them as they celebrated both the induction ceremony as well as Lowe’s 90th birthday. With around 120 guests in attendance the only empty seats in the house were of those who went to get seconds on cake or to refill their glasses of sweet tea.
As the celebrations drew to a close the Buffalo Soldiers helped with the cleanup efforts. “I am so grateful that they are here,” said Betty Sims, Lowe’s daughter, who pulled the whole event together. “They have been a really big help.”