November 11, 2011 is a day we honor our Veterans as a Nation. This important group of people makes it possible for this blog to exist, our freedoms to be enjoyed on a daily basis, and our freedom to choose.
As a Nation we enjoy the freedom to express ourselves in cultural ways that are not allowed in most nations...we are lucky.
Veterans also give us more in common. While in combat, a veteran will tell you that an enemy does not care if you are from South Dakota or Texas, Native American or non-Native American, woman or man...you are an American enemy of theirs. The enemy can be relentless in their misguided hatred of us, but we have the men and women of the military to thank for protecting us from them, our common enemy.
The Lakota celebrate their Veterans with special dances, honoring songs, and honor gifts such as Eagle feathers. 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.
Today, we still honor our Veterans with the honor of carrying the flags they fought so hard to protect, a symbol of the Nation they were honored to protect, and to send a message to their brothers and sisters who did not return that we have not forgotten them.
So, if you have a chance, give a Veteran a hug, a kind word, or even a word of thanks for all that they did to make it possible for us to be the great Nation that we are and always will be.
Lel ukunpi kin he waste' - It is good for us to be here.