The Design

The design of the African American Veterans Monument is a matrix, serving as both a timeline and map of longitudinal coordinates. Each of the 12 black concrete pillars that will be 10 feet tall, and 3 feet wide, are placed in a chronological sequence, corresponding to the dates that each of the country’s 12 military conflicts took place. The matrix’s longitudinal coordinates represent the location where the war began. The spacing between the pillars represent peace times between each war.


The tops of the 12 black concrete pillars will illuminate, representing the candles that families would put in their windows as a beacon to guide a soldier home. The light emanating from the top of each pillar will continuously glow as an eternal reminder of the commitments made by African American Veterans.

The Monument's design was created by Jonathan Casey and the team at Solid 716. For an inital view of the rendering CLICK HERE.

The Idea

In 2014, The Erie County Chapter of the Links, Inc. commissioned a project to record the names of all deceased Western New York African American Veterans. The project was introduced to the community on 2016. Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes committed to convening a committee to plan the construction of the country’s first Monument to honor African American Veterans.

African American Veterans Monument Planning committee members are:

Ronal R. Bassham
US Air Force (Ret.)


Fern E. Beavers (In Memoriam)

The Links Incorporated - Erie County (NY) Chapter


Henry W. Curtis III
US Army (Ret.)


Richard A. Cummings 
US Air Force Veteran

Robin E. Hodges
US Navy 
Delaware North


Warren Galloway, Chair 
US Air Force Veteran

Laura Montante-Zaepfel
Uniland Development Company


Hon. Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes
NYS Assembly District 141


Madeline O. Scott
Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier


Jonathan Watts
Watts Architecture and Engineering