The first national Native American veterans cemetery, on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, is nearly complete. It's expected that the cemetery will open on Memorial Day 2013, reports the Todd County Tribune.
The construction, known as the Sicangu Akicita Owicahe Veterans Cemetery, was made possible by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Veterans Department, which applied for and received a federal $7 million grant. The grant was the first of its kind to be awarded to a sovereign tribal nation. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe claims more than 4,000 veterans.
The cemetery will be shaped like a turtle, which is one of the most important symbols in Lakota culture, representing life, longevity and fortitude.
Fred Leader Charge, project inspector, told the Tribune, "This has been a good project. I am very proud of the effort put forth, this is a beautiful sight."
And as the Tribune notes, please take a moment to shake the hands of our Native American vets, those who have served our nations as warriors.