February 15, 2009

No monument to Native soldiers

Honoring Indian veterans

South Dakotan part of push to build memorial in CaliforniaDon Loudner says Native Americans historically have a greater proportional representation in the U.S. military than any other ethnic group. They have been fighting for the nation in major wars since the founding of the country, yet there is no monument recognizing their service.

Loudner, a Crow Creek tribal member who lives near Mitchell, and retired Brig. Gen. Stan Brown hope to change that.

They are heading an effort to build a memorial at the Riverside National Cemetery in California that would honor the contribution of Native American military veterans. At the Western Indian Gaming Conference last month in Palm Springs, Calif., the two men sought support for the project.
And:The memorial plans call for a circular monument to be built on the south side of a lake at Riverside National Cemetery, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. Openings in the curved walls of the structure would correspond with a series of obelisks on the far side of the lake, each representing a region of tribes and listing some of the notable military engagements and heroes of those tribes. A central obelisk, opposite the monument, will support a statue of a Native American in tribal dress. The elements of the memorial will be connected by a walkway.Comment:  The Navajo codetalkers have gotten several honors--e.g., Lakota Codetalker Sports Complex and Codetalker Statue at Arizona Capitol. It would be nice to see a monument that focuses on other Native veterans rather than the well-publicized codetalkers.

For more on Native veterans, see The Way of the Warrior and Native Version of The War.

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