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Native American Veterans Memorial Opens Nov. 11 at the Smithsonian

 

The National Museum of the American Indian will open the new National Native American Veterans Memorial Wednesday, Nov. 11. The moment will be marked with a short virtual message to honor the service and sacrifice of Native veterans and their families. The message will be on both the museum’s website and its YouTube channel.

 

“The National Native American Veterans Memorial will serve as a reminder to the nation and the world of the service and sacrifice of Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian veterans,” said Kevin Gover, director of the museum. “Native Americans have always answered the call to serve, and this memorial is a fitting tribute to their patriotism and deep commitment to this country.”

 

The memorial was commissioned by Congress to give “all Americans the opportunity to learn of the proud and courageous tradition of service of Native Americans in the Armed Forces of the United States.” Native Americans have served in every major military conflict in the U.S. since the Revolutionary War. This will be the first national landmark in Washington, D.C., to focus on the contributions of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who have served in the military.

 

The memorial design is 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 sacred ceremonies, benches for gatherings and four lances where veterans, family members, tribal leaders and others can tie cloths for prayers and healing.

 

A dedication ceremony and veterans’ procession will be reschedule when it is safe to do so.

 

The press release and new photo images can be found here.