The National Native American Veterans Memorial will open to the public on November 11.
A new memorial is coming to Washington DC. Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will be opening the brand new Native American Veterans Memorial to the public just in time for Veterans’ Day. The memorial is the first to honor American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and their exceptional contributions to the U.S. Army.
“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 in a press release. “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 monument will open on Wednesday, November 11, with a short virtual ceremony including a short virtual message to honor the service and sacrifice of Native veterans and their families as well as a tour. It will be open 24 hours a day and will also be free to visit.
The memorial, which sits on the grounds of the museum, was designed by artist Harvey Platt, a member of the Cheyenne Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and a Marine Corps veteran. The design features a stainless-steel circle that’s 12 feet in diameter and rests on a carved stone drum. It also incorporates water that can be used for sacred ceremonies as well as benches for gathering and four lances where veterans, family members, tribal leaders and others can tie cloths for prayers and healing. The seals of five army branches can be found engraved on a nearby wall.
A veterans’ procession to mark the memorial’s completion was originally planned for the dedication ceremony but had to be postponed due to current health and safety guidelines. The museum has stated, however, that it will reschedule both events when it is safe to do so.
[Featured image courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian]