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Native veterans procession is back, but for 2022

Officials have scheduled the National Native American Veterans Memorial‘s in-person ceremony and procession for 2022. (Image via NMAI Facebook).

Native American veterans and their families waited a long time for a national memorial, but it finally happened in 2020. But because of the pandemic, an in-person ceremony and veterans procession was postponed in 2020 and 2021. Events are now scheduled to take place on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2022.

Officials at the National Museum of the American Indian made the announcement May 21.

“We look forward to welcoming you in 2022 to the museum grounds to honor American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native veterans,” a statement read.

Officials had previously marked the memorial’s opening with a video dedication on Veterans Day last year.

The National Native American Veterans Memorial is the first memorial in Washington, D.C., to honor Native American veterans. It is located on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian – part of the Smithsonian Institution. It is currently open to the public 24 hours a day.

The memorial was many years in the making and is one that involved members of the Seminole Tribe and its leadership. The tribe is one of 85 that supported the venture financially. In addition, Stephen Bowers, the tribe’s former Veteran Affairs director (who passed away in 2020), and President Mitchell Cypress, campaigned for and gathered support for the memorial for a decade.

The memorial was commissioned by Congress to recognize that Native Americans have served in every major U.S. military conflict since the Revolutionary War. The memorial’s design was by Marine Corps Vietnam veteran Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma). It 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 to signify prayers and healing.

Organizers have said they will share additional details about the events in 2022 through email updates and on its website. For more information, go to AmericanIndian.si.edu or email NNAVMDedication@si.edu.

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Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at damonscott@semtribe.com.
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