26 September 2012

Ogiichida, Miigwetch

Great news for my father who's been selected for the Honor Flight program. He has been looking forward to this trip the past couple months. One of his church members obtained the application, helped him fill it out and sent it in. Honor Flight Network has given many of the surviving World War II Veterans much happiness by flying them to see the Memorial in Washington, D.C.  honorflight(dot)org

We've grown up listening to him talk about serving in the Pacific theater.  He has graciously filled me in on specifics which I've included in his biographical notes section of our family tree.  I was able to research battles and stations in and near New Guinea/Phillipines with a different perspective from the history courses in school.  Children don't appreciate these stories when they're first hearing them.  I, for one, am glad that I finally got to write some of those stories down.  I looked at the maps and reports at the military history site with a new vision.  I could hear my father, see the waves, feel the heat.

I think of my uncles who've passed and regret that I didn't think to get their stories.  Yes, they'd sit and talk once in awhile.  My father's told me of what he can remember about their service years.  It's not the same as getting the stories from their perspective.  All I know is one was a pilot and went to Europe.  

Our village has a Veteran's Memorial, thanks to the Tribal Council and members of the community.  The Memorial has most of the names of all those who served from World War I through today.  There's a Veteran's Wall at the Heritage Center.  The Veteran's Honor Song is sung at all gatherings and pow-wows.  Veteran's and current active duty military eat first at feasts and gatherings, if they so choose.

Honoring Veterans, here and in the next world, is part of our daily lives. It's our memories, our songs, our social conduct.  It's with honor, respect and remembering that I dedicate this post to Honor Flight for the opportunity provided to my father -  A. J. Holmes, United States Army.

Mail Call on board plane

On arrival in DC.

Two warriors from Minnesota.

Dad's home state


Ogiichida. Ogiichidaqwe. Miigwetch.
Warriors.  Women Warriors. Thanks.

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