The commemorative statue of the US Army's Buffalo Soldiers had a startling impact on a young major. When he reported to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, he was so excited to see it for the first
time. It's an amazing work of art depicting a proud soldier on a spirited horse rearing up on its hind legs. The statue came into view across a pond as he crested a hill on the main thoroughfare through the Fort. It was peak traffic and the Post Exchangeeee, the Commissary and Child Care Center were all on that road. Command and General Staff College students, faculty, workers and family members were all reporting for work.
As a Black Officer, the statue's dignity struck a deep chord in his heart. Before he realized what he had done, he found he had gotten out of his car. He found himself transfixed for serveral moments, and then realized what he'd done. At that time, there was a tear of gratitde running down his cheek. He turned around to see that traffic in BOTH directions had stopped. Now, he had not impeded traffic in the other direction whatsoever, but traffic in all four lanes had stopped,perfectly silent. Not one person honked a horn. No one yelled at him, or anything. They just soaked in what he was experiencing, allowing him to turn around, and very quietly get in his car and drive on.
He told me that more than a year later, he was still wondering what happened there. I asked him if he thought something universal happened. uniting those people on the road that day. I shared with him a passage from our denominational textbook, "One infinite God, good unifies men and nations, constitutes the brotherhoood of man..." (Mary Baker Eddy). I told him I thought perhaps it was a shared moment of recognition of his gratitude and insight into, not just the physical beauty of the statue, but the more spiritual beauty it represented. It depicted people of great courage, dedication and selflessness. People of many differing backgrounds appreciated what the statue meant to him and how genuinely he had shown them. His heart had spoken to their hearts. This shared moment of recognition had united everyone that day. I suggested II Cor. 13:11 summed it up, "Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace..." He heartily agreed and seemed deeply moved again.