By Southwester Staff
This Veterans’ Day, a new memorial to honor Native veterans will be dedicated on the grounds of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
The National Native American Veterans Memorial was commissioned by Congress to honor the service of Native Americans in every major military conflict in the U.S. since the Revolutionary War. This is the first national landmark to focus on the contributions of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who have served in the military.
The memorial will be dedicated with three days of events from November 11-13, 2022, beginning with a Native veterans procession. Viewing areas along the procession route will be available for supporters to gather to honor the participating veterans and watch the ceremony.
“The dedication of this memorial is an opportunity to gather and reflect on the extraordinary service and sacrifice of Native veterans and their families,” said Cynthia Chavez Lamar (San Felipe Pueblo, Hopi, Tewa and Navajo), the museum’s director in a news release. “I hope everyone will join us for this momentous occasion, so together we can offer them our thanks for their contributions to our country.”
The memorial was designed by Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma), a multimedia artist, retired forensic artist and Marine Corps Vietnam veteran. The design features an elevated stainless steel circle resting on a carved stone drum. It also incorporates water for ceremonies, benches for gatherings and four lances where veterans, family members, tribal leaders and others can tie cloths for prayers and healing.
More information about the dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial can be found by visiting https://americanindian.si.edu/visit/washington/nnavm. The website includes details on how to register to participate in the Native veterans procession.