WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today cheered the President’s signing of H.J. Res 120, a bill Butterfield introduced to approve the location selected for a memorial that will recognize the thousands of slaves and free African Americans who fought for America’s independence during the American Revolution.
“For generations, historians estimated that at least 5,000 African Americans – both slaves and free – fought for American independence. Revised estimates now show more than 10,000 brave men joined in the fight. At least 252 of these patriots came from North Carolina, and at least 109 came from counties which now comprise much of my congressional district.
“The memorial that will eventually be constructed to honor tens of thousands of slaves and free African Americans who helped to secure American independence during the American Revolution will be a fitting tribute to their heroic actions that helped shape the very foundation of our great nation.
“There are over two million descendants of these Revolutionary War patriots nationwide. This memorial will show the nation and world that the sacrifices of African Americans – both slaves and free – who took up arms to secure America’s independence are not forgotten.
“I thank President Obama, Senator Chris Murphy (CT), and Representatives Doc Hastings (WA) and Peter DeFazio (OR) for helping to ensure the swift passage and enactment of H.J. Res 120. I particularly thank the late-Representative Donald Payne, Sr. (NJ) who conceived this idea to honor these brave men and their descendants in a permanent and meaningful way.”
Federal law requires that the location for the memorial identified by the Administrator of the General Services Administration be formally approved by Congress within 150 days of receiving the recommendation by the GSA Administrator. H.J. Res 120 passed the House and Senate earlier this month.