Lieberman, Grassley Introduce Legislation to Honor African American Heroes of the Revolutionary War Print
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Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 09 May 2011 12:42

WASHINGTON, DC- Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced legislation today that would authorize the establishment of a memorial in Washington, DC, to recognize African American patriots who fought for the United States during the Revolutionary War.

According to the Daughters of the American Revolution, over 5,000 African Americans, including over 800 from Connecticut, served as soldiers or sailors for the U.S. during the Revolutionary War.

This bill was inspired by the work of Maurice Barboza, a Connecticut native who, after discovering that a distant relative of his had fought for the American forces, has passionately fought for these patriots to receive the recognition they deserve.  Barboza has also founded the National Mall Liberty Fund, DC, a private nonprofit organization that will be entirely responsible for raising the funds needed to construct the memorial in Washington.

The legislation was previously introduced in the 111th Congress by former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), along with Senator Grassley.

Grassley co-sponsored similar legislation more than two decades ago.  During the 1980s, a group of young Iowans helped organize an initial push for such a memorial.  An African American Revolutionary War patriot named Cato Mead who originally was from Connecticut spent his final years in Southeast Iowa, and there is a monument dedicated to Mead in the Montrose Cemetery in Lee County, Iowa.

“The important role that many African Americans played during the Revolutionary War is too often overlooked,” Lieberman said.  “This memorial will honor these patriots’ sacrifice and ensure that this important part of our nation’s history is not forgotten.”

“The nation’s capital is an appropriate place to honor the part that African Americans played in the American revolution,” Grassley said.  “A memorial will broaden Americans’ understand of the diversity of the patriots who helped to secure America’s independence,” Grassley said.

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