Committee ChairpersonLinks Section
whose way is in the sea
and whose paths are in the great waters
whose command is over all and whose love never faileth:
Let me be aware of Thy presence
and obedient to Thy will.
Keep me true to my best self,
guarding me against dishonesty in purpose and in deed,
and helping me so to live
that I can stand unashamed and unafraid before my shipmates,
my loved ones, and Thee.
Protect those in whose love I live.
If I am inclined to doubt, steady my faith;
- World War II Naval Serviceman -
Valiant Hero Of The 507th
Lori Piestewa (23-year old Hopi mother of two), the first Native American servicewoman to die in Iraq combat (ambused near Nasiriyah on March 23, 2003).
If you are like many other Americans, you probably know that Piestewa was the soldier killed in Iraq who is believed to be the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the U.S. military. You may or may not know that the name of a mountain in Phoenix has been changed from Squaw Peak to Piestewa Peak to honor her and to erase from the mountain's name a word that is profoundly demeaning to Native American women. And the name of Squaw Peak Freeway was changed to Piestewa Freeway. The new names are gloriously appropriate tributes to the Hopi Indian woman from Tuba City, Arizonia.
THE NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL
The Highground is honored to have been chosen as the home of The National Native American Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Unanimous approval for this decision was given at the annual conference of the National Congress of American Indians held in Denver, CO in 1994.
Dedicated in 1995, The National Native American Vietnam Veterans Memorial is the first national memorial to come to The Highground. Harry Whitehorse, Madison sculptor and WW 11 veteran, created this bronze sculpture. Mounted on a red granite base, the sculpture depicts an American Indian soldier 'in jungle fatigues, holding a rifle in one hand and an Eagle Feather Staff in the other. The names of all American Indians who died as a result of the Vietnam war are etched into two of the four black granite panels which skirt the base of the entire statuary.
The other two black granite panels are inscribed with the following words:
NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL
"THE FORGOTTEN WARRIOR"
This memorial statue was envisioned to serve as a touchstone where the quiet tears of unresolved grief from mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends could be shed in an honorific setting and be strengthened by the groundswell of pride that their departed loved ones stand in an elite company of Native American Warriors who fought in American's longest and costliest undeclared war. "The Forgotten Warrior" stands forth symbolically to uphold an memorialize the honor of those Native American warrior casualties as a lasting tribute to their sacrifices made in the script of commitment commingled with uncertainty, and strength empowered by purity.
DEDICATED SEPTEMBER 16,1995
Symbolic Elements of This Memorial
The red granite block supporting the statuary represents the blood spilled by our wounded and all those who gave their lives in the supreme sacrifice. Weighing ten tons, it bespeaks the burden of trauma and readjustment problems endemic to their experiences. Soft crystalline emanations from the white quartz circle amplifies the spiritual purity of their departed souls in the Great Spirit's afterlife. While the square edifice symbolizes the four comers of the earth as well as the fact that they did not flee from governmental dictates during that unpopular era when agonizing warfare was ablaze in The Republic of South Vietnam.
The particular site on The Highground on which the tribute stands was chosen by the land, not the people involved. The original plan called for it to be placed elsewhere. The land said that it belongs where it stands today. It seems as though it has always been here.
The Highground Veterans Memorial
U.S. Navy recruiting poster, 1974
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