American Veterans and Elders attended the Memorial Day dedication
of a plaque in honor of Lori Piestewa on Mt. Soledad May 31, 2004.
The Barona Band of Mission Indians and the Barona Museum and Cultural
center sponsored this memorial dedicated to: Lori Piestewa, Hopi
Warrior, fallen in battle in Iraq while serving with the U. S Army.
Barona tribe also sponsored another plaque in honor of all Barona
Tribal members, including six Purple Heart recipients, who have
served in the Military for the defense of this land. Clifford La
Chappa, Barona Tribal Chairperson, spoke at the memorial. Ron Chrisman,
Kumeyaay Bird singer and also combat veteran of the U. S. Army Vietnam
era, sang special songs in her memory. The family of Lori Piestewa
was in attendance. The San Diego American Indian Warriors Association
(AIWA) was also present in Color Guard regalia for the dedication.
USMC Native American veterans: Luis and John Rojelio, Chiricahua,
were in Gourd dance regalia. Also attending is Manuel Pacheco, WW
II, Korea and Vietnam era paratrooper with two combat jumps.
Day 2004 in San Diego was like none other." Said Dr. Eleanora
I. Robbins. "This day was dedicated to women in the service.
Lori Piestewa (Hopi), the first Native American to give her life
in service to the armed forces of the United States, was honored."
Christman, Kumeyaay, led the Bird singers.
mother talked about her love for all who have served.
LaChappa, Barona Tribal Chairperson, shared his respect for Lori
and all people who have been in military service. Other speakers
included San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy, Rear Admiral Frances Shea-Buckley
(US Navy), and Ship Commander Ann Phillips (US Marine Corps). "We
will never forget the sacrifices and the love, as so beautifully
spoken by these strong voices."
Gov. Janet Napolitano has sponsored the renaming Squaw Peak in honor
of fallen Pfc. Lori Piestewa, an idea the governor enthusiastically
backed changing the name of Squaw Peak, considered by some to be
an ethnic slur, to Piestewa Peak in honor of the Tuba City resident
and first Native American woman to be killed in military action.
The governor also wants to change the name of Squaw Peak Parkway
to Piestewa Parkway, Mayes said.
members and the Piestewa family support the effort to rename the
Phoenix geographical landmark to honor Piestewa, said Wayne Taylor,
chairman of the Hopi Tribe.
a Hopi is deceased, she comes back to the home mesas," said
Wayne Taylor, the tribal chairman, as snowflakes coated his shoulders
on a special Saturday afternoon. "The spirit returns to the
community and the family in the form of moisture. And this is Lori
generations of intermarriage, the Piestewa family represents several
of those cultures. The late soldier was a Hopi with some Navajo
heritage, the granddaughter of a Hispanic immigrant and a practicing
Roman Catholic. Her 4-year-old son Brandon and her 3-year-old daughter
Carla were baptized at St. Jude's Roman Catholic Church in Flagstaff,
AZ. The children presently live with their grandparents in Tuba
Native American notice is a respectful service. For 7/24 Native
American event review and calendar information: americanindiansource.com
Roy Cook: writer, curator, Opata/Osage-Mazopioye Wichasha