The National Mall will soon have another memorial dedicated to American Veterans. It will be the Native American Veterans Memorial and it will be part of the grounds associated with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the Native American, which opened its doors for the first time in 2004.
This memorial has been a long time in coming. Legislation for its construction was first signed by Congress in 1994. But the legislation did not allow the National Museum of the American Indian to do any fundraising for the building of the Native American Veterans Memorial. Go figure! It was not until 2013 that new legislation was written to allow for the fundraising.
$15 million has been raised to construct the Native American Veterans Memorial. The design is in and the preparations for construction are done. It is going to be called the “Warrior’s Circle of Honor.” It is scheduled to be dedicated on Veterans Day, 2020.
I visited the National Museum of the Native American last summer. I found it to be one of the most beautiful and impressive and engaging museums in that city of exceptional museums. The new Warrior’s Circle of Honor will be a powerful addition to this stunning and immensely important museum.
The Department of Defense says that American Indians make up about 1% of current active duty members, but the reality is that no other ethnic group in America has a higher rate of military service per capita than the Native American community. The Native American peoples across this nation are proud of their participation in our military. At Native American gatherings, when the opening parades take place, they are always led by their military veterans and active duty members.
It is about time that the Native American military service to the nation has its own memorial monument.
The Veterans Site honors and thanks our Native American veteran brothers and sisters. We encourage all who visit Washington, D.C. make a point to visit the National Museum of the American Indian. I hope to visit the Warrior’s Circle of Honor on my next visit.
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.