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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

...............................................................Thomas Jefferson

Monday, March 3, 2008

Honor for an American Hero


Today in a ceremony at the White House, Master Sergeant Woodrow Wilson Keeble will finally receive the Medal of Honor for his heroism and sacrifice. Keeble is the first full-blooded Dakota Oyate (Sioux) to receive the honor.

The full story of his heroism is recounted in our local media, and here at military.com, and in the words of ND Senator Byron Dorgan here. A story of heroism so profound his comrades all submitted him for Medal of Honor consideration. But the paperwork was “lost.” Maybe they thought the Purple Hearts and other awards were enough. Funny how that happens when you’re a person of color.

Not daunted, his name was again submitted for Medal of Honor consideration. Paperwork “lost” again.

Many don’t know that Native Americans serve in the military at the highest percentage of demographic groups. Serve, and are wounded, and come home in flag-draped coffins. And to what?

“Lost” paperwork it takes half a century to put right.

For some, the fate of Ira Hayes. Or for lives on reservations that too often look like Appalachia…and apartheid.

There are heroes serving today, of all colors and demographics. Most of us will never know their names. As Prince Harry—who was fighting for us, by the way—pointed out, he’s no hero. It’s the guys coming home, on the plane with him, on other flights, missing a leg or an arm, or suffering emotionally from the traumas of war.

The men and women who selflessly serve. How shall we honor them? With a White House ceremony in a few years or past a lifetime?

Master Sgt. Keeble’s award will be presented posthumously. He lived 65 years among his people and his neighbors and died in 1982. A giant in stature, a giant among men.

As a commenter notes at the military.com website:

America the "Greatest" Country in the world but we still have some of the Greatest problems, Racism, Bigotry and Hatred so we must continue to Pray and ask God to bring about Change. This Medal is Long overdue and it adds to what someone once said "Please" give me my Flowers while I can still smell them... God Bless America.

1 comment:

egregious said...

Lot of things long overdue in this country. Thanks for your writing, Prairie, and happy birthday!

Love and homemade cookies,