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Petition: Medals of Dis Honor

Twenty-three soldiers from the Seventh Calvary were later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for the slaughter of defenseless Indians at Wounded Knee.

We are asking that these Medals of DIS Honor awarded to the members of the 7th Calvary of the United States Army for the murder of innocent women children and men on that terrible December morning be rescinded.

Crossposted at Native American Netroots

A feather was lying on the sidewalk when I left work; I picked it up and looked closely at it. Carrying it as I walked, there was a baby bird beside my car, homeless. The baby bird had no wings and just stared at the pavement in the darkness, moving its head up and down. Several thoughts came into my mind as I watched and realized picking the bird up would get my scent on it and cause rejection from its mother. I thought about the suicides on reservations, the lack of justice on reservations, climate change, alcohol and drug addiction in the American Indian population, health concerns of American Indians, and the worries of the American Indian People in general. I then looked at the bird again, relating to it.

It is precisely things like "Twenty-three soldiers from the Seventh Calvary were later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for the slaughter of defenseless Indians at Wounded Knee," counties and national parks being named after Custer, streets and so on being named after Sheridan, and Chivington Colorado being named after Chivington, that can lead me to feel like that bird with no wings staring at the pavement in darkness. Interesting, there isn’t a town, street, river, tank, or monument named after Hitler in Israel, nor would any medal of honor be bestowed upon a Holocaust Overseer. But the dominant culture in America, a term applied only to those doing harm, needs a rationalization when there are "national indigenous movements fighting to protect their dwindling territories and the right to manage the natural resources." Why rescind "the Congressional Medal of Honor for the slaughter of defenseless Indians at Wounded Knee" when condoning genocide works so well? Let’s take a trip to the past to make a correlation in order to outline the right thing to do.

I had gotten into a discussion with a woman in Cheyenne about Washita, and she told me how a couple men coordinated an event of reconciliation. It involved a reenactment with Sand Creek Massacre descendants and grandsons of Custer's 7th Calvary at the same location Black Kettle was exterminated by Custer. Paramount was the re-burial of a child victim's bones.

The descendants camped where Custer's 7th Calvary had attacked Black Kettle's camp one century earlier; however, they were unaware that the grandsons of Custer's 7th would be coming over the hill firing guns with blanks in them. When the 7th Calvary's grandsons came towards them on horses firing blanks in their weapons, there were many feelings of surprise, fear, anger, and betrayal experienced by the Sand Creek Massacre descendants. Remember, the Sand Creek Massacre descendants and the ones who were slain at Washita were the same individuals.

Unknown to the Cheyenne, a California group called the Grandsons of the Seventh Calvary, Grand Army of the Republic, had been asked to join the Reenactment-

A line was formed after the reenactment with the grandsons of the 7th Calvary, who obviously wanted to help in this healing, at the front of the line. Lawrence Hart, a Mennonite pastor, felt very angry as he watched the bones of the child being passed down it towards the front. A Native woman then put a blanket over the little coffin containing the child's bones, which continued to be passed down the line to Hart. The blanket was then handed to him.

"Among the Cheyenne was Lawrence Hart, a peace chief and a Mennonite pastor. The celebration became tense. The final event of the day was the re-burial of the victim's remains. The small coffin was covered with a beautiful new woolen blanket. According to Cheyenne tradition, the blanket would be given to a guest."

"The older peace chiefs asked Hart to give the blanket to the captain of the Grandsons of the Seventh Calvary! He couldn't believe what they were asking. This man was the enemy! Hart's own great-grandfather, Afraid of Beavers, had barely escaped the attack by hiding in a snowdrift."

"Hart was tense. As the captain came forward, Hart told him to turn around. Hart's trembling hands then draped the beautiful blanket over the captain's shoulders."

"It was a grand moment. The wise Cheyenne peace chiefs had initiated peace.
The Grandsons embraced the chiefs. Some cried. Some apologized. When Hart greeted the captain, the officer took the Garry Owen pin from his own uniform and handed it to Hart."

"Accept this on behalf of all Cheyenne Indian people," the captain said. "Never again will your people hear Garry Owen."

Read that last sentence again said by the captain, and remember that "Garry Owen" was the song Custer had his band play right before the exterminations began at Washita.

"Accept this on behalf of all Cheyenne Indian people," the captain said." Never again will your people hear Garry Owen."

The lady I spoke with said there wasn't a dry eye left.

Now, forty years later, it’s time for "Never again will your people see a ‘Congressional Medal of Honor for the slaughter of defenseless Indians.’" Please sign the petition if you haven’t already.

Petition: Medals of Dis Honor

Twenty-three soldiers from the Seventh Calvary were later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for the slaughter of defenseless Indians at Wounded Knee.

We are asking that these Medals of DIS Honor awarded to the members of the 7th Calvary of the United States Army for the murder of innocent women children and men on that terrible December morning be rescinded.

Mitakuye Oyasin

Originally posted to Winter Rabbit on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 03:27 PM PST.

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