Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Condition. Discussion »
While summer does not begin until June 20, Memorial Weekend informally kicks off summer for many people.
Memorial Day Ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Memorial Day, originally was referred to Decoration Day, began in the United States shortly after the Civil War to pay homage to those who lost their lives trying to save the Union. By the turn of the century Memorial Day became day to remember the fallen soldiers who died while serving in the United States military.
American Indians and Alaska Natives have served with distinction in the United States military before we were even considered citizens of the country. Thousands of American Indians and Alaska Natives have given their lives defending the United States of America.
According to the Pentagon estimates through March 2012, 64 American Indians and Alaska Natives have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Since the beginning of 2012, there have been three Navajo Code Talkers who have passed away. Truly, their tremendous contributions to this nation during World War II represent a testament to American Indians service in the military. The inability to break a code that used the strong Navajo language helped win the war for the United States.
So as you begin your summer festivities do not forget the reason why Memorial Day is a federal holiday. It is more than a day off of work or school. It is a time to remember those who died for freedom.
From the staff of the Native News Network, have a peaceful and safe holiday weekend.
posted May 26, 2012 11:50 am edt