A family committed to serving their country
Serving our country is – and always has been – important to our family. From an early age Richard W. Collins, III knew he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father and grand-fathers. When Richard enrolled at Bowie State University (BSU), he also joined BSU’s Army ROTC program. Seeing him newly-commissioned as a lieutenant in the Army was one of the happiest days of our lives.
Rick served in the U.S. Navy. Our fathers served in the New York Police Department (Dawn) and the U.S. Army during the Korean War (Rick). We were so proud our son chose to follow in their footsteps and put his life on the line for our democracy.
All too soon our pride turned to grief when Richard was murdered by a white man on the University of Maryland campus just days before his college graduation. This was the second time racism had stolen a member of our family. Shortly after his return from Korea, Rick’s father, our son’s grandfather, was murdered by a white man motivated by blind hatred. Richard’s grandfather survived a foreign war, but did not survive the scourge of racism.
The tradition of black patriotism in America continues to this day. Black people love and devote their lives to this country, everyone’s country. The ignorance that has permitted hate to fester must end. The time has come.