Honoring the Sacrifice and Service of Native American Veterans

12.18.20

Honoring the Sacrifice and Service of Native American Veterans

On November 11, 2020 - Veteran's Day - the National Native American Veterans Memorial opened on the grounds of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C. The Memorial's purpose is to acknowledge and honor the exceptional service performed by American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native veterans.

In 2013, Congress passed legislation authorizing the NMAI to create a National Native American Veterans Memorial to give "all Americans the opportunity to learn of the proud and courageous tradition of service of Native Americans in the Armed Forces of the United States." Today, the National Native American Veterans Memorial is a simultaneously interactive and intimate space designed to honor the sacrifice and service of Native American veterans and their families. This tribute is the first of its kind to recognize on a national scale Native American individuals in all branches of the United States military. Beyond serving as a symbol of recognition, the Native American Veterans Memorial is a gathering space for Native American veterans and their families, as well as an educational space for the general public.

Photos by Matailong Du for the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.

 

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