Published May 30, 2016
Memorial Day should not be confused with Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a federal holiday when we remember those fallen warriors who lost their lives for the country. I remember my grandmother referred to Memorial Day as Decoration Day. Veterans Day, on the other hand, is a day in November to remember those who have served in the various branches of the United States military.
It is said to give your life for your country is the ultimate sacrifice.
Beyond a day off from our jobs, backyard barbeques and other family functions, Memorial Day is a day to remember those warriors who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Throughout American history, American Indians and Alaska Natives have proudly served and died for the United States of America. According to the Oxford Companion to American Military History, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest record of military service per capita compared to any other racial/ethnic group in the United States.
Memorial Day is a day to remember the likes of Spc. Lori Piestewa, a Hopi tribal citizen, who was the first female American solider to die in the invasion of Iraq. She is also the first American Indian woman to die for the United States. Deployed from Fort Bliss in Texas, she had only been in Iraq for five weeks. Spc. Lori was only 23 years old when she gave her life in 2003. She left behind two young children.
For several years, Terry Piestewa, Lori’s father and a Vietnam veteran, wore a cap that read: “All Give Some, Some Gave All.”
So on this Memorial Day, please take time to remember and honor those fallen warriors who gave all.
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