The Smithsonian Institution is unveiling the first national memorial dedicated to Native American veterans at the National Museum of the American Indian in DC on November 11, Veterans Day.
There will be a virtual unveiling ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian for the monument which has been in progress for over 20 years.
The originally- planned ceremony for the opening will not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The unveiling will still be a triumphant and poignant moment for the hundreds of thousands of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who have served, or are currently serving in the military—and for their families and communities,” according to the Smithsonian Magazine.
The memorial features a 12-foot diameter stainless steel silver circle balanced on a 20-inch-high stone drum and it is located in a woodlands environment outside the museum’s main entrance.
Native Americans have been serving in the US Armed Forces since the country’s earliest days. And Native veterans and their families have long looked forward to this recognition. Join us in celebrating a very special #VeteransDay. #nnavm #NativeVeterans https://t.co/RUQbjpYzNd
— AmericanIndianMuseum (@SmithsonianNMAI) November 11, 2020
“Native Americans have always answered the call to serve, and this memorial is a fitting tribute to their patriotism and deep commitment to this country,” says the museum’s director Kevin Gover.
“Native peoples have served in the United States military since the American Revolution and continue to serve at one of the highest rates per capita of any population group,” wrote Lonnie Bunch, secretary of Smithsonian in the Smithsonian Magazine.
Bunch stated that the memorial will recognize “the extraordinary service of these men and women and our shared obligation to honor this legacy” for the first time on a national scale.