By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds flocked to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway today for a Veterans’ Day salute outside the All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors.READ MORE: FEMA Opens Disaster Recovery Centers In Delaware, Montgomery Counties
The focus was the 20th anniversary of the relocation of that historic memorial.
For 60 years, the memorial sat in an obscure location in Fairmount Park. It was, as mayor Michael Nutter put it today, “the memorial version of being in the back of the bus.”
Today, Nutter acknowledged the team of leaders and concerned citizens who orchestrated the move of the landmark twenty years ago to where it now sits, in Logan Square.READ MORE: Dozens Of Volunteers Packed Food At Philabundance In South Philly For Food-Insecure Seniors In Honor Of Hunger Action Day
Governor Ed Rendell, who was Philadelphia mayor at the time, says he was among those who felt soldiers of color deserved a place of prominence to be remembered.
“The debt that we owed to our African-American sailors and soldiers is substantial,” Rendell said today. “In some ways, it can never be repaid.”
Comedian-actor-philantropist-educator Bill Cosby (below), who served in the US Navy, was one of today’s keynote speakers. He said the Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors is needed so we never forget.
“This statute is here because of a few, but it will stay because of many,” Cosby said.MORE NEWS: Wells Fargo Center Parking Lots Won't Accept Cash As Form Of Payment Starting This Weekend
The event was organized by Pennsylvania state senator Vincent Hughes and the Committee to Restore and Relocate the All Wars Memorial. The Committee is currently raising money for maintenance of the statue via the Philadelphia Foundation.