haitian soldiers monument

As we remember those who gave their lives for our country this Memorial Day, I want to take a moment to honor the Haitian Americans who fought in the Siege of Savannah during the American Revolutionary War. In October of 1779, more than 500 Haitian men fought bravely alongside American and French soldiers in an attempt to drive the British out of Savannah, Georgia. The Siege of Savannah was one of the deadliest battles in the Revolution. These men were "free men" and joined the fight of their own accord, not as slaves. The role of Haitians in the American Revolution has long been ignored, although a monument was erected in Savannah in their honor in 2010.

As a Haitian American, it is a great point of pride for me that my ancestors played a role in America's fight for independence. I also hope their bravery can serve as a reminder that America was built with the help of men and women from many different countries and cultures.