At the United Tribes International Powwow in Bismarck, North Dakota, those lost on September 11th were honored as part of the observance of “National Day of Service and Remembrance” this past Sunday, September 11. “Ceremonies in the dance arbor on the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 honored civilians and military personnel who lost their lives in the attacks and those who served in the military since,” a United Tribes press release stated.
There were honor songs, gun salutes, and a very special flag that was unfolded and displayed after having once flown over the Twin Towers. The 15 by 20 foot flag was unfolded by people such as David M. Gipp, the United Tribes Technical College president and a military veteran, who helped unfold the flag during the an honor song, carrying it around the dance arbor.
“We appreciate the opportunity to have this flag on our campus,” said David M. Gipp in the release, “As we opened up this flag, I could smell the smoke and the dust. The memory of that event that took place 10 years ago is fresh yet on this flag.”
Gipp was in New York City only a few weeks following the attack. He said in the press release that he remembers the smell of smoke and dust in lower Manhattan, “and unfortunately, the smell of death.”
“Today the country is memorializing those who lost their lives in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania,” he said in the release. “We are honored to join in by witnessing the display of this flag here in Bismarck. It’s a sad occasion but one that reminds us of the freedom we have to gather here in peace and harmony.”
The flag was one of three flags flying over the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, according to the Cheyenne River Veterans Association, the group that brought the flag.
“Cheyenne River Veterans continue to remember and honor two members of their tribe killed in the country’s war on terrorism since 9/11. PFC Sheldon R. Hawk Eagle, US Army, died in 2003 and CPL Tanner J. O’Leary, US Army, died in 2007. Cheyenne River Veterans have also participated in the honoring or last military rites for three other fallen comrades: SP4 Lori Piestewa (Hopi), US Army, 2003; CPL Brett L. Lundstrom (Lakota), US Marines, 2006; and CPL Nathan J. Goodiron (Three Affiliated/Lakota), US Army National Guard, 2006,” the release stated.
Also participating in the powwow’s 9/11 observance were veterans from other color guard units: Standing Rock, Three Affiliated, Sisseton-Wahpeton, Turtle Mountain, Spirit Lake and United Tribes Technical College.