Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
				Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.


For Immediate Release 

 CONTACT:  Mae Campbell: 615-731-5261; Maecampbell4@aol.com

                      Kenitha Grooms-Williams: 504-912-2157; kagwilliams@hotmail.com

 The Association of Negro Infantry Volunteers, WWII Honors Veterans during their

5th Year Annual Reunion Celebration  

            Nashville - November 15, 2007 - The 2,221 Association of Negro Infantry Volunteers, WWII held their 5th year reunion Veterans Day weekend in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Association, which is an organization comprised of some of the first African American soldiers to fight alongside white infantry during World War II, had been meeting for the past four years to celebrate the courageous and heroic efforts of Veterans, and this fifth year reunion welcomed past and present day heroes to join in the celebration.

            The reunion commenced on Saturday, November 10, as the 2,221 Association of Negro Infantry Volunteers, WWII hosted a "Meet and Greet" at the Airport Drury Inn and Suites Hotel.  Councilwoman Vivian Wilhoite, representing the 29th District of Davidson County, welcomed the original members of the Association to the city of Nashville and expressed how truly honored she was to be in the presence of such valiant and brave men. State Congressman Jim Cooper displayed his gratitude for the veterans by sending citations from the state of Tennessee, which honored these fearless men who faced adversity on both sides of the world in their efforts to maintain peace and freedom.  The veterans shared stories of the many obstacles they faced during the war and on the Home Front.  They talked about the important roles they played in changing the outcome of the war once General Dwight D. Eisenhower issued a plea for African American soldiers to join the ranks of their white counterparts, which ultimately led to the defeat of the Hitler Regime.

            This auspicious occasion concluded as Dr. George Smith, Board Member and recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Brain Trust Award, expressed the importance of not only honoring these heroes, but sharing with others the stories of the fallen soldiers who never had a chance to tell their story.

            The celebration concluded on Monday when the Association participated in Nashville's annual Veteran's Day parade and a reception which immediately followed at the American Legion Post 88.   Men, women, and children of all ages flooded the streets of downtown Nashville to pay homage to the members of the Association, as well as the other great men and women of the United States Armed Forces.  As the cheers, signs and red, white and blue colors filled the air, Veterans looked in amazement as the parade goers roared their thank you's and waved their flags in commemoration of these unsung heroes. The Association was further honored as they were joined by none other than a present day hero of the Iraq War, Ms. Shoshana Johnson.            

            Ms. Johnson became the first female POW of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first African American female POW in United States war history in March, 2003, when she and other members of the 507th Maintenance Company were taken as Prisoners of War.  During the reception, Ms. Johnson thanked all in attendance for the many prayers and well wishes she received upon her return from Iraq, and gave a special salute to the men of the 2,221 Association for their unrelenting acts of bravery. Ms. Johnson stated that although she was met by thousands of cheering men and women of all races and nationalities upon her return from Iraq, these men came back to the United States to face the harsh reality of racism that still plagued the cities that they fought to protect. Ms. Johnson and other guests expressed how they had not forgotten the heroic acts of these men which gave us the liberties and freedoms we still enjoy today. 

            For more information on the 2,221 Association of Negro Infantry Volunteers, WWII or any other upcoming events please contact Mae Campbell, Executive Director at maecampbell4@aol.com or 615-731-5261.


Category: World War II | Subcategory: Veterans | Tags: WWII , Tennessee
Related Topics / Keywords / Phrases: 2003, 2007, African American, Cooper, Nashville, Tennessee, Williams, World War II,