It's been a long time coming, involving an incredible amount of work, dedication and passion. But the day is nearly here.
On Saturday, April 20, the All-Nations Native American Veterans Memorial in Jefferson, Oregon, will be dedicated and opened to the public in a ceremony at 2 p.m.
There's an amazing tale behind all this, leading from the efforts of Navy/Air Force veteran Bill Stam, Lakota, and his wife, Gwin, Apache. Read about it here: A Community Pulls Together To Support One Man's Plan for a Native Veterans Memorial.
The organizers of the dedication day ceremony share this, via Facebook:
"We are all very excited for the event. We will have representatives from the Lakota Nation in Pine Ridge, the Pala Band of Mission Tribe and the Chumash Tribe in California, the Cherokee Nation, the Shawnee Nation in Oklahoma, the Navaho Nation in Arizona, the Blackfoot Nation in Montana, the Mohawk Nation and the Siletz, Lower Umpqua and Grande Ronde Nations in Oregon. We have representatives from the Apache Nation, and the Ho Chunk Nation who cannot come in person but will be here with us in spirit.
We will have drummers from our local Portland chapter of NARA to provide us with music. Lunch will be served. Gwin will be making some of her famous buffalo chili and a friend of the Memorial Jay Bear Cavazos will be making some of his famous fry bread. We will also have assorted salads and we have some special "All Nations Native American Veterans Memorial" cakes on order.
We are looking forward to sharing our beautiful Memorial with everyone."
This will be a proud day for Indian country.
For a moving video introducing the memorial and giving you and idea of what to expect Saturday, click here.
For a look back at a special message from the mayor of Jefferson, Oregon, on the memorial and Bill Stam, click here.
For further details on the event, including the address and contact info, see the flyer below or visit the memorial's Facebook page by clicking here.