November 14, 2010
In collaboration with the Senator John Heinz History Center, men from the "100 Voices" program went to Allegheny County Cemetery to pay homage to US Colored Troops buried there. The commemoration was attended by the Unites States Army Honor Guard, the Soldiers and Sailors Museum Drum and Bugle Core performers, representatives of the non-profit organization Wreaths for Veterans, and Ron Gancas, whose book, Field of Freedom: United States Colored Troops from Southwestern Pennsylvania, was used as part of the research for this project
Commencing the ceremony was Andy Masich, President and CEO of the Heinz History Center, who discussed the history of Allegheny County and the process of locating the US Colored Troops. The entire crowd enthusiastically participated in the commemoration. American flags were placed at the gravesite of all the known US Colored troops interred there. Some volunteers also took time to restore several graves which had become overgrown with weeds and grass blocking the names on the marker stones. The words of Samuel Black summed up the general sentiment of all those who participated:
"These United States Colored troops buried in Allegheny County Cemetery are remembered and honored not only for their bravery in war, but for their act of liberation on behalf of four million enslaved Africans in America."
- Samuel W. Black, Curator of the African American Collection at the Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh PA