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    Veterans Lead Charge for New Museum Focused on Fort Leavenworth’s Role in US History

    Veterans Lead Charge for New Museum Focused on Fort Leavenworth's Role in US History

    The oldest west of the Mississippi River is a massive operation that's been serving the country since 1827.

    And though it sits less than 40 miles from downtown Kansas , Fort Leavenworth is surprisingly easy for many of us to overlook.

    That's ironic, because the fort's location, high on the Missouri River bluffs, was chosen for its strategic value. (Lewis and Clark noted the merits of the site when they visited in 1804.)

    George Pettigrew believes the time has finally come to recognize the vital role Fort Leavenworth played in America's westward expansion. And still plays today.

    As chairman of the Frontier Museum of the U.S. Army Foundation, he's working to unveil a world-class facility by 2027, the fort's 200th birthday.

    Pettigrew is the great grandson of a Buffalo Soldier—one of the Black Americans who began serving in the U.S. Army immediately after the Civil War.

    At Fort Leavenworth, Buffalo Soldiers manned the 9th and 10th Cavalries. They're commemorated by a sculpture that Colin Powell dedicated in 1992.

    “What happened here changed the world,” Pettigrew says, adding that Buffalo Soldiers were just one aspect of that.

    Fort Leavenworth, he's convinced, was uniquely positioned as both portal and protector for thousands of settlers and explorers who passed through on their way to lands unknown.

    It was also place where the trained some of its finest minds.

    “What this fort has meant to the…

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