XENIA — A group of motorcyclists from the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity honored Col. Charles Young with a symbolic ride to Washington, D.C.
Young, who began a career in the military as a Buffalo Soldier, rode a horse from Xenia to D.C. in 1917 to show he was not physically unfit to be given a prominent command. The nearly 500-mile ride was no problem for the 54-year-old, who was eventually promoted to colonel in the Army.
To commemorate the 100-year anniversary, the Hawg Dawgs re-enacted the journey beginning June 15. More than 20 participated, coming from as far as Alabama and upstate New York. While attending the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary commemorative ceremony, they received a proclamation from the city and met Harold Warren Jr., 94, who served during World War II.
The journey ended June 16 at the Inaugural Woodson/Young Jazz Festival in at Fort Washington Park in Maryland.
The Hawg Dawgs are retired and active duty members of the military, police officers, government employees and entrepreneurs who share a love of motorcycle riding. The Hawg Dawgs who participated in the ride were Maurice Stewart, Mike Fleming, Mike Washington, Garvey Wright, Alvin Anderson, Chuck Hayes, Lee Packnett, Marlon Crook, James Greene, Kenyatta Theriot, Walter Hill, Kiti Fowlkes, Ravin Howell, Tony Story, Tony Crummer, Norvell Dillard, Edward Harris, Wendell Buckmon, Jean Benovil, Rodney Barnes, Oliver Hunter, Caralis Kimbrue, Harold Springs, Rickey Harris, Darryl Suggs, Warren Bacote, Lee McDonald, and Robert Myles.
Young was an American Soldier and the third African-American graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. He began his military career serving with the 9th and 10th Calvary Regiments. He also served as the first African-American United States National Park Superintendent; the first African-American Military Attaché; the first African-American to achieve the rank of Colonel in the United States Army; the highest-ranking black officer in the regular army until his death in 1922; and a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.