Back to Online Newspapers

Riding in honor

Historic 10th Cavalry dignifies Memorial Day observance

The 10th Cavalry, D Company, of the Buffalo Soldiers of Seattle, will take part in Memorial Day ceremonies at Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park and Crematory. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

Since 1868, Memorial Day has been a celebrated day in American history, one in which all fallen veterans are remembered.

Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park and Crematory honors this sentiment, and it does so in an inclusive manner to embrace those soldiers that have given much to the country but have often been overlooked.

"Wherever we go, we arouse curiosity in the history of Buffalo Soldiers, said Geordan Newbill, the president of the Buffalo Soldiers of Seattle, 10th Cavalry, D Company.

"We represent the men who proudly served in the 9th and 10th Cavalry units, while making major contributions to the settlement of the American West despite discrimination."

A nonprofit organization, the Buffalo Soldiers of Seattle works to provide the highest quality educational programs for the benefit of all Pacific Northwest residents.

The group is partially comprised of Army, Air Force and Navy veterans.

"The Buffalo Soldiers of Seattle are a unique and highly respected group that we look forward to welcoming to our Memorial Day observance," said Clarke Thomson, Mountain View's General Manager. "They bring a sense of history, and a sense of honor to the fallen."

The term "buffalo soldiers" refers to the men who served in the four all-black Army regiments founded after the Civil War.

For more than 20 years after the Civil War (1861-1865) in the late 19th century, the 9th and 10th Cavalry units engaged in military campaigns.

According to Walter Hill, archivist of the National Archives, the Comanche bestowed the nickname "Buffalo Soldiers" on the soldiers of the 10th Cavalry because of their toughness and skill in battle.

Other sources theorize that the nickname originated with the belief among some Native Americans that the soldiers' black and curly hair resembled that of a buffalo.

Whatever the origin, the soldiers of the 10th -- and later the 9th -- Cavalry unit viewed the moniker as one of respect.

"It was a badge of honor to these soldiers," added Newbill.

This sense of respect and the time-honored cavalry tradition of a riderless horse at a military funeral or ceremony will be observed this Memorial Day at Mountain View.

"This is our first year working with Mountain View," continued Newbill, "and we are honored to have been invited to provide this hallowed act."

He also pointed out that the troopers will follow the protocols and wear the uniforms from the 1870s.

"Not only do we pay honor to all fallen veterans, but we also empower men, women and children with an education of our past to make our present substantial and our future better," concluded Newbill.

Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park and Crematory is located at 4100 Steilacoom Blvd. in Lakewood. For more information about its Memorial Day observances, call 253.330.5449.

Read next close

Online Newspapers

Coins, veterans, and first responders

comments powered by Disqus