Smithsonian to Honor Native American Veterans With National Memorial
WASHINGTON — The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian(NMAI) has announced the five finalists for the design of a National Native American Veterans Memorial, slated to open in Washington in 2020.
“The significance of such a memorial on the National Mall is obvious,” said NMAI director Kevin Gover in 2013, shortly after the U.S. Congress charged the museum with creating a memorial to allow all Americans “to learn of the proud and courageous tradition of service of Native Americans” in the U.S. armed forces, and “to accord these veterans the honor they have earned.”
Native Americans have participated in every U.S. war and conflict since colonial times:
- During the Revolutionary War, members of several Native tribes living in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, served in a militia against the British.
- Choctaw, Creeks and Cherokee participated in the War of 1812 and in a series of “Indian wars” against other tribes and the 1840s war with Mexico.
- More than 28,000 Native Americans participated on both sides of the Civil War of the 1860s.