STATEPOINT MEDIA – Washington, DC is a city filled with monuments and memorials celebrating those whose lifelong work has served the nation. Some of the city’s most visited memorials honor veterans and the sacrifices they made in service to the United States.
A full weekend of events honoring Indigenous veterans who have served the nation in the United States Armed Forces will take place soon and event organizers encourage those who wish to attend to make their plans now. The focal point of these events occurs on Veterans Day, November 11, when the National Museum of the American Indian dedicates a new memorial – the National Native American Veterans Memorial.
The memorial, which stands on the museum grounds within sight of the United States Capitol building, was commissioned by Congress to give “all Americans the opportunity to learn the proud and courageous tradition of service of Native Americans in the United States Armed Forces”. States.” Native Americans have served in every major military conflict in the United States since the Revolutionary War. This is the first national landmark in Washington, D.C. to focus on the contributions of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who served in the military.
Designed by Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma), multimedia artist, retired forensic artist, and Vietnam Marine Corps veteran, the memorial features a raised stainless steel circle resting on a carved stone drum . It also includes water for sacred ceremonies, benches for gatherings, and four spears where veterans, family members, tribal leaders, and others can attach cloths for prayers and healing.
“The dedication of this memorial is an opportunity to come together and reflect on the extraordinary service and sacrifice of Indigenous veterans and their families,” said Cynthia Chavez Lamar (San Felipe Pueblo, Hopi, Tewa and Navajo) , director of the museum. “I hope everyone will join us for this momentous occasion, so that together we can thank them for their contributions to our country.”
The dedication ceremony will take place on the National Mall in Washington, DC as part of a three-day event (November 11-13) to honor Indigenous veterans. It begins with a procession of Aboriginal veterans followed by the dedication ceremony. Indigenous veterans who wish to participate in the procession can register now through the museum’s website. After the ceremony, visitors can tour the memorial and museum, which will remain open until 8 p.m. on Nov. 11.
The inauguration ceremony will also be broadcast live for those unable to attend in person.
Throughout the weekend, the museum will host special programming in honor of the memorial’s dedication, including hands-on activities, films, performances, and a veterans welcome suite.
Visitors can also explore the “Why We Serve: Native Americans in the United States Armed Forces” exhibit, which tells personal stories of Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Alaska Native veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces for more than 250 years, and brings long overdue recognition to their contributions.
For more information on the dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial, go to americanindian.si.edu.