Shoshone-Bannock tribal veterans and members, from left, Sheridan Wadsworth, Kolin Washakie (Eastern Shoshone), Fort Hall Business Council member Lee Juan Tyler and Lawrence Bagley (far right) attend the National Native American Veterans Memorial Dedication ceremony on Friday, November 11 in Washington D.C.
WASHINGTON D.C. — A group of Shoshone-Bannock tribal and local veterans attended the National Native American Veterans Memorial Dedication and celebration November 11 at the National Museum of the American Indian.
Fort Hall Business Council member Lee Juan Tyler attended, along with the following veterans: Lawrence Bagley, Sheridan Wadsworth, Lyle March, Frances Goli, Vicki Baldwin, Bruce Baldwin and Kolin Washakie. Brittinie Alvarez, Liberty Reyes and Marlo Repeta were also in attendance.
Liberty Reyes said she attended with the San Manuel Tribe, her employer and a primary sponsor of the event. She said Thursday night there was a reception for some of the sponsors and donors that was a welcoming event. On November 11 there was a procession of veterans from different tribes that ended at the main area of the dedication ceremony. It was raining most of the day up until the program, “When things were getting ready to start everybody had there umbrellas out, the rain stopped,” and a rainbow appeared.
Sho-Ban tribal veterans at the dedication ceremony.
The actual memorial opened on November 11, 2020 but the dedication occurred Friday. It is a tribute to Native heroes that recognizes for the first time on a national scale the enduring and distinguished service of Native Americans in every branch of the U.S. military according to NMAI.
Vietnam veteran Harvey Pratt, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, did the design titled “Warriors Circle of Honor” selected from more than 120 submissions.
Liberty said she went to memorial the night before the dedication and it was really cool because it was lit. During the dedication ceremony they lit the fire and it’s at the bottom of the memorial as one walks into it.
“It was a good experience and I’m glad I got to go,” she continued. “I wanted to make sure I participated.” She said there were a lot of guest speakers including the head of Veterans Affairs. She said everyone reiterated how Native Americans humbly served their country despite the hardships and trauma inflicted on our tribal people and they still show up. “Finally that acknowledgement of the volume of Native people willing to sacrifice for a country that didn’t treat them right,” she said.
Veterans from tribes throughout the United States attended.