The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park announced a new exhibition that focuses on America’s fight to integrate the armed forces. "Two Wars: The Road to Integration" will highlight key moments during the mid-20th century that led to the integration of the armed forces. Located on the second floor of the Naval Park’s museum building, organizers said “this exhibition will examine stories of individuals from the Buffalo area and across the nation who served this country and persevered through adversity at home and abroad in search of freedom and equality.”
Park President and CEO Paul Marzello said, “African Americans and other minorities have fought in every American conflict since 1775 despite enduring segregation and inequality at home and on the battlefield. This exhibition will bring some deserved attention to those individuals who served our country with honor despite dealing with adversity and discrimination at home.”
The exhibition will feature artifacts belonging to Pvt. Indiana Hunt-Martin, a native of Niagara Falls who served in the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion during World War II. The members of the 6888 were recently awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their efforts, and, in Buffalo, bill H.R. 2142 was announced by Congressman Brian Higgins earlier this year to designate the Central Park Post Office as “Indiana Hunt-Martin Post Office Building.”
Opening day at the Naval Park is on Saturday, March 26, with a ribbon cutting at 9:45 a.m. and an opening ceremony scheduled at 10 a.m. Joining the Naval Park for the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be 99-year-old World War II Army veteran Paul Woods, who will be honored as the first official visitor of the season. Woods earned three Bronze Stars and a Philippine Liberation Medal for his military service in the Pacific Theater.
For the 2022 season, the Naval Park will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the last ticket sold at 4 p.m.
The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the nation’s largest inland naval park, and the home of four U.S. Naval vessels: USS The Sullivans, USS Little Rock, USS Croaker and PTF-17. Located on Buffalo’s waterfront, this unique family destination is committed to its mission, which is to honor, educate, inspire and preserve. The Buffalo Naval & Military Park also features a museum, United States military exhibits, and a manicured Veterans Park with 14 monuments and memorials dedicated to those who served this country. More information is available at www.BuffaloNavalPark.org.