Thursday, November 11, 2010

Editorial: Veteran's Day Tribute

Feather News

I continue to be surprised that despite the tragic treatment of Indians since colonization, our Indian nations are always cognizant of the value of military service given by Indians on behalf of the United States of America.

Indian veterans carry the flag of the United States side-by-side with with their tribal flags or staffs at the head of many tribal ceremonies. Or, in military parlance, at the point position.

More Indians have died serving the United States in battle than any other ethnic group, on a per capita basis. Yet Indian lands appropriated through colonial conquest is recognized as the foundation of land title law in the United States. Go figure.

Mohegans, as well as Indians of other tribal nations, have served this country in every war since the Revolutionary War.

The warrior tradition runs deep in Indian Country, predating the colonists, and plays a large part in explaining what to many is a value system difficult to comprehend given the history between the nations. Even if the U.S. flag flies over this land, it is still the land where we come from and the land that is to be protected.

As a military veteran - formerly a military cop, demolition specialist, and combat engineer officer - I want to extend my best wishes to the other veterans reading this, pause to remember those who gave their lives, and wish those in battle a safe return.