November 11, 2012 is a day we set aside, as a Nation, to honor our Veterans. They deserve our respect and admiration for the bravery they showed on our behalf. We would not be here, writing this blog while sipping iced coffees and enjoying internet radio, if they had not stood up and said "I will fight for this Great Nation and the people who live here. I will not back down from the enemy and I will stay strong no matter what may occur."
Veterans also bring us together as a Nation of People. The men and women who take up arms against our enemies can tell you that what makes us the same is the enemy. The enemy does not care if your from South Dakota or Nebraska, Native American, Hispanic or Caucasian, man or woman. Their blind hatred for this Great Nation and the People of this land makes us all the same.
The Lakota have always celebrated their Veterans with special songs, special dances and gifts that denote their standing as Veterans of War. Eagle feathers were earned by showing bravery during battle. Each feather was a treasured gift from the tribe and worn proudly.
Historically, some returning warriors would let their wives wear their "earned headdress", to honor the return of a brave warrior and show their deepest respect for all of the sacrifices the warriors had made for the good of the tribe.
Another practice from long ago that hasn't happened recently is a warriors recounting of their brave actions during combat. What is known of this is, "The family of the warrior would have a feast and the warrior would recount his actions. Then everyone was fed. However, the warrior never spoke of it anymore but related the actions in his dance at social gatherings."
Today, at Pow Wows, Veterans carry the flag of the U.S. into the dance arena, walking in before everyone else to show their constant endeavor to protect the colors of this land and to send a message to their fallen brothers and sisters, "We have not forgotten you."
On this special day, take a minute to thank a veteran, to give a hand shake or a hug, to show your appreciation for all they have done to make it possible for us to remain a Great Nation.
Lel ukunpi kin he waste' - It is good for us to be here.