Over 1,500 Native Veterans Participate in Dedication Ceremony for the National Native American Veterans Memorial | Currents

  

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Via:  kavika  •  2 weeks ago  •  27 comments

By:   Darren Thompson (Native News Online)

Over 1,500 Native Veterans Participate in Dedication Ceremony for the National Native American Veterans Memorial | Currents
WASHINGTON — For over 1,500 American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian veterans who were on hand for the dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Friday, it is one Veterans Day they will remember fo...

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Details By Darren Thompson November 12, 2022

WASHINGTON — For over 1,500 American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian veterans who were on hand for the dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Friday, it is one Veterans Day they will remember for the rest of their lives.

On Friday, the National Museum of the American Indian hosted a grand procession and ceremony for the dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial. The 1,500 Native veterans participated in a grand procession through the National Mall.

Michael Coon traveled with a group of veterans from the Muscogee Creek Nation from Oklahoma and had tears of joy in participating in the grand procession for the National Native American Veterans Memorial.

"It is an honor to be here with all of our brothers and sisters in the military family," Coon said. "I look forward to having camaraderie with all of my brothers and sisters as we show the world how strong we are when our call comes to serve this nation."

His father, Philip Coon, was a prisoner of war in the Pacific Theater during World War II and survivor of the Bataan Death March.

The event was co-emceed by Retired Captain of the U.S. Navy John Herrington (Chickasaw), the first Native American astronaut to go into space, and Retired Sergeant of the U.S. Army Wes Studi (Cherokee), who is an Academy Award-winner. Studi served 12 months in the Vietnam War and was honorably discharged by the U.S. Army in 1969.

"A Native American on any battlefield is a formidable force to be reckoned with," Studi said. Studi expanded on his comment by discussing the football competition in 1912 between West Point Academy and the Carlisle Indians.

"This historical rivalry pitted a 22-year-old linebacker named Dwight D. Eisenhower—he was the 34th President of the United States of the United States—against the real all-American team that was led by Jim Thorpe," Studi said.

"Eisenhower said, 'here and there, there are some people who are supremely talented and my memory goes back to Jim Thorpe,'" Studi said of Eisenhower's comments on Jim Thorpe once he was president. "He could do anything better than any football player I ever saw."

The National Native Americans Veterans Memorial's design is an elevated stainless-steel circle balanced on a carved stone drum on the campus of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. The design was created by Harvey Pratt, a Vietnam War veteran and Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma citizen. The design incorporates water for ceremonies, benches for gathering and reflection, and four lances where people can tie prayer cloths for offerings and reflection.

"I want to look at the heavens today, the Creator gave us a nice gentle rain, to water Mother Earth, and for us to start a new day," said Harvey Pratt during Friday's dedication to the National Native American Veterans Memorial. "This memorial came about in a dream, as I gather all of my life experiences as a Southern Cheyenne Peace Chief."

Daniel Loudner (wheelchair), National Commander for the American Indian Veterans Association and Hunkpati Dakota, with the National Native American Women Warriors at the dedication for the National Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C on Friday, November 11. (Photo/Darren Thompson)

"We created a path of life, a warrior's circle of honor, lances with sacred colors and prayer clothes, water, the air, the earth, and fire," said Pratt. "I want to thank the Creator, for creation warriors—without them, we may not be here."

The memorial honors Native American veterans and their families, and educates the public about their extraordinary contributions. The memorial is the first national landmark in the nation's capital to commemorate the military contributions of American Indians, Alaskan Natives and Native Hawaiians. According to the Smithsonian, Native Americans' service in the United States military began at the Revolutionary War, in 1775.

The afternoon dedication included various presenters, including Congresswoman Sharice Davids (Ho-Chunk Nation), Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie Bunch III, former National Congress of American Indians president Jefferson Keel (Chickasaw), and several others in the federal government and various branches of the military.

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"We are proud to host the National Native American Veterans Memorial at the National Museum of the American Indian for time immemorial," said Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie Bunch III during Friday's dedication.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian curated a weekend of events on Saturday and Sunday including music, film, food, and celebration at the museum. Veterans in attendance included Daniel Loudner, Hunkpati Dakota national commander of the American Indian Veterans Association and one of the last living Navajo Code Talkers, Thomas Begay.


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Kavika
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Kavika     2 weeks ago
Studi volunteered for active service and went to Vietnam with A Company of the 3rd Battalion 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. He served 12 months in Vietnam.

Those 12 months changed his life.

“I discovered what being in combat is,” he said. “What sticks out most is you’re with your buddies and you’re going to take care of each other.”

He remembers the terror and violence of war, but also the natural beauty of Vietnam and the joys of friendship.

“There’s a resilient spirit in human nature,” he said. “You’re going to enjoy yourself no matter the

situation.”

We have waited for centuries for this memorial and there is an immense sense of pride for the native people and especially for the ogichidaa (one who stands between the people and evil)

J.D. Challenger ''Dust to Ashes''

512

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @1    2 weeks ago

as long as native americans are with us, there is hope for all of america.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  devangelical @1.1    2 weeks ago

512

J.D. Challenger, ''The Bill of Rights''

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  devangelical @1.1    2 weeks ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.2  CB   replied to  Kavika @1    2 weeks ago

That is deep and meaningful. Also, it gives a warrior a reason to continue living, in my opinion.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.2.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.2    2 weeks ago
 it gives a warrior a reason to continue living, in my opinion.

Exactly, there isn't anyone here that can evaluate better than you, the warriors reason to continue living.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.2.2  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.2.1    2 weeks ago
Exactly, there isn't anyone here that can evaluate better than you, the warriors reason to continue living.  

His opinion is as valid as yours so it would behoove you to stop with the sarcasm and stick to the subject matter. 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.2.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Kavika @1.2.2    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.2.4  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @1.2.2    2 weeks ago

good luck with that...

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2  JBB    2 weeks ago

The long arc of history bends towards justice!

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  JBB @2    2 weeks ago
The long arc of history bends towards justice!

Finally

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.1.1  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @2.1    2 weeks ago

karma took the long way coming back...

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

A great day for America !

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 weeks ago

In more ways than one.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
4  sandy-2021492    2 weeks ago
The memorial honors Native American veterans and their families, and educates the public about their extraordinary contributions. The memorial is the first national landmark in the nation's capital to commemorate the military contributions of American Indians, Alaskan Natives and Native Hawaiians. According to the Smithsonian, Native Americans' service in the United States military began at the Revolutionary War, in 1775.

Long overdue.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  sandy-2021492 @4    2 weeks ago
Long overdue.

512

J.D. Challenger ''We The People''.
 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
5  Perrie Halpern R.A.    2 weeks ago

It is with great pride, that I am so happy about the memorial. It's about time that our people are recognized for everything they have given to this country. 

It is still an ongoing battle though, as SCOTUS hears a case about the stealing of our children. The children are our future.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @5    2 weeks ago
It is still an ongoing battle though, as SCOTUS hears a case about the stealing of our children. The children are our future.

Sad that this even got to SCOTUS.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
5.2  devangelical  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @5    2 weeks ago

in the past, NA's have shown the world the most effective ways of dealing with bible thumping scum. just give the NA's metaphorical horses and rifles...

 
 
 
Raven Wing
Professor Guide
6  Raven Wing    2 weeks ago

I am filled with joy reading this awesome news, and thank you for sharing it with us. To see that our many Tribes are finally getting the recognition for their many contributions to this land called America that has long been cherished by them. 

When I stood atop a mountain in the Shenandoah Mountains and looked down the long Shenandoah Valley spread out below, I understood why my Cherokee ancestors fought so long and hard for their beautiful and sacred homeland where they had lived for so many centuries. While it filled me with great pride, it also brought me to tears when I thought of how many of them had died trying to save it. Many of them my Maternal ancestors.  

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.1  devangelical  replied to  Raven Wing @6    2 weeks ago

it's still there, the way it was before, on the other side of the rainbow bridge...

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
7  CB     2 weeks ago
The memorial is the first national landmark in the nation's capital to commemorate the military contributions of American Indians, Alaskan Natives and Native Hawaiians. According to the Smithsonian, Native Americans' service in the United States military began at the Revolutionary War, in 1775.

That is interesting. Generally, I don't think of native people as a 'bloc' - that just changed for me. It is always helpful and so needful to hear what others state/say about themselves. Well 'said'!

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
7.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  CB @7    2 weeks ago

Thanks, CB.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
8  evilgenius    2 weeks ago

This would have been nice, "I was there." moment in history. I've never gotten to DC, but it's on my list of must visit places. Maybe when my grand daughter is a little older we can all go.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
9  seeder  Kavika     2 weeks ago

''I was there.'' moment. Indeed it would have been, EG.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
10  CB     2 weeks ago

I have heard it from someone who is not easily impressed, despite the politics in/coming out of "D.C." it is a beautiful place. The person telling me that says she would like to visit it again.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
11  CB     2 weeks ago
Osage Veterans Return from NNAVM dedication

2022 Native American Memorial lighting ceremony
 
 

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