Earlier today, we blogged about the objections to a memorial honoring Medal of Honor winners that unfortunately was erected on the site of a Native American village. Some groups would like to see the memorial moved to a different part of Los Angeles.
From the Chicago area comes a much more upbeat story, about the recently opened Native American Wall of Honor at Trickster Gallery.
As this Chicago Tribune story reports, it’s the second memorial to American Indian veterans in the Midwest. And, Trickster is the only arts institute in Illinois operated by Native Americans.
Joe Yazzie is the artist-in-residence this year. His stint as the gallery is fitting, given his military background: Yazzie, who grew up in New Mexico, is an Army veteran, while his brother Harold served in the Marines.
“It’s just in our blood,” he tells the Tribune. “We want to be warriors, and we tend to join the military.”
In fact, some of Yazzie’s family members are on the Wall of Honor.
“Right here, this guy, he’s my grandfather,” he tells the Tribune’s Dan Simmons, pointing to a framed photo of 37 Navajo scouts who served as military police alongside Army forces during the late-1800s campaign against Geronimo.
“And this guy here, that’s my uncle Frank,” he says, pointing to another photo on the wall of Navajo code talkers.
Some of Yazzie’s paintings feature veterans and military themes.
“They could have been doctors or lawyers,” he says of those killed in various wars. “They could have discovered things to improve our lives. But they sacrificed. Ever since, I’ve had this guilty feeling. Why them and not me?”
A memorial honoring the nearly 30,000 recipients of the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor, is to be unveiled today in Los Angeles. But on Monday, representatives of those who say the memorial is built on the site of an ancient Native American village will go to court and seek to have the memorial removed.
Robert Garcia is the attorney suing the city on behalf of the Concerned Citizens for South Central Los Angeles, the El Pueblo Park Association, the Tongva Indian Ancestral Territorial Tribal Nation and a descendant of one of the city’s 44 original families
“We support Medal of Honor recipients and we believe they should be honored in an appropriate way at an appropriate place,” said Robert Garcia tells the Los Angeles Times, here. “Father Serra Park is not the right place, and this monument there is not the right way.”
The Times’ Seema Mehta writes that Garcia contends that because of its military connections, the monument is objectionable to Serra, the Catholic founder of the missions, and the Native Americans, who often were the victims of American forces.