Grassley on a Memorial for Black Revolutionary War Patriots
Sep 29, 2020
Prepared Floor Remarks by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
On a Memorial for Black Revolutionary War Patriots
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
I have been working for decades to establish a memorial on the National Mall to those Black Revolutionary War patriots who fought for the founding of our country. We are close to achieving this goal, which is needed now more than ever.
The rationale for the memorial was summarized in congressional testimony in 1985 by its founder, Maurice Barboza, “The Patriots Memorial would serve an educational purpose in that it would remind Americans of the rich and meaningful contributions of blacks to the birth of America. It would illuminate the past so that the present generation would better understand the nation’s history. In that sense it would serve a retrospective purpose.
The Patriots Memorial would serve a prospective purpose by helping future generations of Americans understand what it is that binds us together as a people.”
He then quoted Rep. Nancy L. Johnson, the memorial’s chief proponent in the House of Representatives, “An American cannot be identified by simple physical, ethnic, racial, or religious characteristics. Even our cultural heritage is best defined by its rich diversity.
What ties us together as a nation is our commitment to individual freedom and to maintaining the rights and privileges guaranteed by the Constitution to assure the perpetuation of that freedom.”