News: ‘Highlanders’ sound-off during El Paso’s Black History Month parade
Story by Spc. Brandon Bednarek
FORT BLISS, Texas - In celebration of this year’s Black History Month, soldiers assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, marched in El Paso’s Black History Month Parade, Feb. 25, near downtown El Paso, Texas.
The event, which was hosted by the Inter Club Council of El Paso, featured 40 soldiers from the 2nd Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment, who represented the 1st Armored Division during the observance.
The parade kicked off from Pershing Drive and Montana Avenue and ended at Mary Web Park, where food booths, vendors, and an entertainment stage were set up as part of the after-parade festival.
With a formation of culturally diverse backgrounds, soldiers came together and marched through the streets calling traditional Army cadences.
“The brigade participants did really well,” said Sgt. 1st Class Derryl Haidek, the brigade’s equal opportunity adviser.
By taking part in the observance, the unit and division showed its gratitude for the sacrifices and hardships that African-Americans endured to not only ensure their freedoms, but also setting in motion equality for all, said Haidek.
Black History Month goes well beyond just one race, agreed Pfc. Derek Kelly, an African-American soldier with Troop B, and a native of Fayetteville, N.C.
The recognition is about our nation coming together as a unified people and celebrating the equal opportunities that every American shares today, said Kelly, who volunteered to march alongside his fellow soldiers in the parade.
The Army recognizes the diversity of its organization and aims to celebrate those who comprise its force, said Haidek. The participation in every cultural observance educates soldiers and provides an understanding on why our nation celebrates cultural awareness.