This monument honors the legendary 369th Infantry Regiment, known as the Harlem Hellfighters. The black granite obelisk is a replica of a 1997 memorial that stands at Sechault in Northern France, where the 369th soldiers distinguished themselves during World War I. Unveiled on September 29, 2006, the 88th anniversary of that battle, the obelisk is 12 feet high and features gilded inscriptions, the 369th’s crest and its coiled rattlesnake insignia.
During World War I, United States Armed Forces remained segregated by race. In 1913, New York established the 15th New York (Colored) Infantry Regiment, a unit of the National Guard. The U.S. Army mustered the unit into Federal service in 1917, and the 369th (Colored) Infantry Regiment went to France that December, among the first 100,000 troops of the American Expeditionary Forces.