Memorial Wall is shaped in a circle, which Puyallup Tribal
Council Vice-Chairwoman Roleen Hargrove said is a sacred
circle filled with a lot of blood, sweat and tears that was
constructed with love, with gratitude and most of all with
Under a beautiful sunny sky on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, the Puyallup
Tribe held the formal dedication ceremony for its new Veterans Memorial
Wall. Gathering outside of Takopid Health Center with men and women
in dress uniforms representing many branches of military service,
tribal members mixed with friends and family, visitors and honored
guests for this important occasion.
The memorial is now fully complete, with benches to sit on,
new landscaping to admire and young evergreen trees planted. The
last portion of the wall to be installed were eight bronze medallions,
36-inches in diameter and representing eight branches of service:
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, National
Guard and Air National Guard.
Debra Sharp, project coordinator with the Tribes Design
and Construction Management Department, remarked over the beauty
of the memorial and explained that some trees had to be removed
from the site but only because of their poor health.
There were some existing trees and a lot of the community
was sad to see us cut those trees down, she said. But
we had an assessment done and the bigger trees were in poor health
with fungus and structural weakness. She acknowledged how
difficult it was for tribal members to see the trees come down,
but the risk of the trees falling was too serious to ignore.
When the dedication ceremony was ready to begin, members of
the Puyallup Tribes Veterans Committee opened the event with
committee chairman Clarence Tougaw as emcee. A mix of joy and some
sadness was felt among the large turnout, as everyone gave thanks
for the servicemen and servicewomen present and those who have passed.
Father, in the name of Jesus we come before you today
to honor all of our veterans and all veterans who have gone to the
other side, said veteran Jim Westcott in his opening prayer.
With assistance from Puyallup Tribal Veterans Committee Vice-Chair
Michael Sisson, a tobacco offering was made to the spirits of the
north, east, south and west, to the spirit of the earth and to the
memorial itself. I pray for direction and understanding and
wisdom for everybody here. The Word says if you ask for wisdom,
youll get it liberally, Jim Westcott prayed.
drum group offered four beautiful songs.
Then the drum group offered up three songs a Flag Song,
an Honor Song and the deeply moving Soldier Boy. The
drum group consisted of Soloman Scabbyrobe, Otto Eaglespeaker, Joseph
Kickingwoman, DJ Brunner, David Duenas and Stanley Whiteman.
Puyallup Tribal Council Chairman Bill Sterud gave the opening
remarks before inviting the rest of the Tribal Council up to the
Today, on this sunny day, our Tribes long awaited
veterans memorial wall dedication is taking place, he said.
We have a long list of veteran tribal members over the years,
many who have passed to the other side, but I know they are watching
today this ceremony with all our ancestors.
He asked for a moment of silence for those veterans who are
no longer with us, as Puyallup tribal member David Duenas silently
talked to the ancestors while the crowd remained hushed and the
drum was struck four times.
Chairman Bill Sterud and his fellow Council members all spoke
lovingly of tribal veterans and all veterans who dedicate
their lives to serving their country.
Today, here, we have a place of peace a place to
think of our veterans in a good way. A place of honor for a special
group of men and women, a place to give special recognition for
without our veterans and their sacrifices, what would our world
be? Im honored and humbled to be a part of this Veterans Day
celebration and the dedication of this amazing Veterans Memorial
Wall. Bill Sterud said
Clarence Tougaw approached the microphone and draped Chairman
Sterud in a blanket. On behalf of the tribal veterans, without
the Tribal Council we would not have gotten this far, Clarence
Tougaw said. We would like to say thank you. Its been
a long, hard row to plow to get to where we are now. If it wasnt
for Tribal Council being there to back us up the whole way, we wouldnt
be here today.
Tribal Councilman and Vietnam veteran Larry LaPointe could not
be there that day, but sent a statement that Bill Sterud read: Our
people, based on our per capita population, were there when these
United States of America declared war in all major theaters of conflicts,
aid was needed by foreign countries to provide the strength
to defeat those aggressors. Native indigenous people of this land
will forever believe that all these foreign and domestic wars bring
unspeakable threats to the land of our ancestors, our elders and
Each member of the Tribal Council then said a few words, and
each was gifted with a blanket.
Tribal Councilmember Tim Reynon expressed gratitude for all
I hope that as each of you pass by this wonderful memorial
youll be reminded of the sacrifice and everything (our veterans)
did for us, said Council Member Tim Reynon. I hope that
you veterans as you pass by will recognize just how grateful we
are for you, how much we love you and appreciate all that youve
done for us. I raise my hands to each one of you and say thank you
Council Member David Bean spoke in loving memory of Puyallup
Chairman Herman Dillon Sr., who was also a veteran. Maybe
hes the one who ordered up this beautiful weather today,
David said. Native Americans served at the highest level of
any ethic group in the military. They fought for future generations
so that we could be here today. He raised his hands to all
the staff that worked on the memorial. This was a very long
process that started many years ago. Its been a long journey
and certainly was worth the wait.
Council Member Sylvia Miller said words could never express
her appreciation for all veterans. Youve given your
whole lives, she told the crowd. Some say that those
who have passed gave their lives so we could be here today
you veterans who are standing here have given your lives too. Your
lives will never be the same. I cant imagine what you had
to see, what you had to do, so I just want to say words will never
express how much I appreciate what youve done for us. I hope
that every time everybody comes by here that this will show how
much we appreciate what you guys have done for us.
Puyallup Vice-Chairwoman Roleen Hargrove described the memorial
as a sacred circle filled with a lot of blood, sweat and tears
that was constructed with love, with gratitude and most of all with
honor. She pointed out the memorials welcoming entrance
where the first thing that visitors see is a sacred salmon inlaid
into the pavement to represent the Puyallups fishing heritage.
When you come, we invite you our veterans invite you
to come within this circle and pray, recognize and most of
all honor all of our veterans, all of our ancestors, for the fight
that they have gone through to get us to where we are today. Please,
whenever you come dont just pass by enter and remember
those that fight for our freedom, Native and non-Native alike.
Tribal Veterans respectfully carried six flags to be raised
on the Veterans Memorials flagpoles.
A number of honored guests were in the audience for the dedication,
including Jim Baumgart, policy advisor on behalf of Gov. Jay Inslee,
and Steven J. Gill, tribal liaison and administrator for the Veterans
Services Division of the Washington State Dept. of Veterans Affairs.
Jim Baumgart read a proclamation from state Gov. Jay Inslee.
So as of this day, Jay Inslee, Governor of the State of Washington,
does proclaim today Nov. 11, 2015 as Veterans Day
in the State of Washington and urges all people to acknowledge and
honor the contributions of our veterans and the principles of democracy,
individual freedoms and human rights which are so well represented
here today in this memorial.
Steven J. Gill spoke as a veteran himself, which he said had
special meaning that day to say thank you to my brothers,
my sisters, all of the veterans that have come before us, that are
here today, and that will come next. Thank you we honor your
service to our communities and our nation.
Following these remarks, Michael Sisson took the podium to read
the names of Puyallup tribal veterans who are no longer with us
(see full list accompanying this article).
raising of the flags marked the completion of the dedication
Since the blessing and the groundbreaking of this sacred
place, a number of warriors have walked on before us, he said.
Today, as we gather, they walk among us. Their spirits watch
over us as we watch over them to tell their stories, to share
their lives, for them to never walk alone and live forever in our
memory. For me, today, it is truly an honor and privilege to stand
before creator and all of you here. Today, we speak their names
and think of them and many others so that they will never be forgotten.
The drum was struck once for each name read. To end the ceremony,
six flags were raised on the six flagpoles that are part of the
memorial: American flag, Puyallup Tribe of Indians flag, Canadian
flag, Washington State flag, Tribal Veterans flag and the POW/MIA
After the dedication, everyone was invited to the Emerald Queen
Casino for a celebratory lunch. Isadore Tom Jr., also a veteran,
blessed the food and offered up songs. When we get into the
military, they teach us how to survive and also how to kill,
he said. But one thing they cant do is teach us how
to forget. There are times, I know, that you out there, our comrades,
have rough times as I did. When we come back from what weve
been through, we come back physically but spiritually part of us
is still over there. Were not complete. To live in this day
as a veteran you have to have your spiritual being back with you
from wherever youve been.
Patty Murray praised the Tribes vision in honoring veterans.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Denny Heck shared their
thoughts from the stage. Both were gifted with a blanket and Patty
Murray received a big bouquet of flowers.
Every time I come here I always see something new and
exciting happening in your community, Patty Murray said. Many
people may not realize that nationwide, Native Americans have one
of the highest representations in the military, so the memorial
is well deserved to say the least and its wonderful to see
one that so beautifully reflects the Tribes connection to
our natural environment.
Denny Heck praised Patty Murray for her commitment to veterans
and their families. We ought to honor our veterans by living
up to the promises we made to them. And let me tell you, in the
United States Congress in either political party and either chamber,
there is no better champion for veterans in the United States of
America than United States Senator Patty Murray. Not a single better
champion than Patty Murray anywhere, anytime.
Sharp, project coordinator with the Tribes Design and
Construction Management Department, was recognized for her
leadership on the Memorial Wall project.
Representatives from the companies that brought the memorial
wall ideas to paper then to life were called to the stage to be
recognized and also receive blankets: ARC Architects, Korsmo Construction,
Nakano Associates Landscape Architects and KPFF Consulting Engineers.
And last but certainly not least, Debra Sharp was called forth
to receive a hand-painted drum for her hard work in helping to bring
the memorial to fruition.
Its been an honor and privilege working with the
veterans, she said. Just like any other project, it
gives me the opportunity to get to know individuals, all the different
departments and committees and I got to know these veterans on an
individual basis. Today is one of the days I will never, ever forget.
I felt it in my heart and my soul.
Puyallup Tribal Veterans who are no longer with us in body but
will forever be with us in spirit and love, as read by Puyallup
Veterans Committee Vice-Chair Michael Sisson:
Ernest C. Anderson
William S. Arquette, Sr.
William S. Arquette, Jr.
Mary J. Basballe
Thomas J. Bean
Dustin J. Bonwell
Tyler C. Bonwell
Eugene A. Brown
Lavina M. Buber
Allen B. Castellane
Andrew J. Castellane
Gary R. Castellane
Michael L. Castellane
William F. Chandler
Jim F. Clark
Lyle W. Conway
Silas A. Cross
Julius S. Daniels
William S. Daniels
William R. Davis
George Dean, Sr.
Robert C. Dillon
Harry Dillon, Sr.
Herman Dillon, Sr.
William H. Dorshkind
Roque O. Duenas
Joseph E. Earl
Leonard R. Farron
Alfred J. Firth
Winfield S. Firth
Donald E. Galloway
John B. Galloway
Gerald G. George
Simon E. George
Donald A. Gilich
Alfred H. Gleason
Milton J. Guenther
Rawona M. Hawthorne
Steven D. Holler
Joseph W. James
Nathan R. James
Roy F. James III
Thompson James, Jr.
John M. Keating, Sr.
George H. Landry
Dennis J. LaPointe
Lawrence W. LaPointe
Edwin J. Legarde, Jr.
Donald M. Matheson
Jerrie L. Matheson
Joseph Y. Matheson
Donald J. McCloud, Sr.
Andrew McCloud, Jr.
Andrew McCloud, III
Bernard E. McKay
Michael C. Moses
Curtiss R. Napoleon
Jack W. Phemister
William K. Pittman
Dennis A. Rarden
Ronald W. Simchen
Teddy W. Simchen
Michael A. Sisson
Lawrence A. Reynon
Lloyd J. Reynon, Jr.
Charles B. Satiacum, Sr.
Donald C. Sanchez
Charles R. Sheldon
Edmond J. Sibbits
Charles S. Sicade
Robert L. Sicade
Charles S. Sicade, Jr.
Calvin W. Simchen
Jay C. Simchen
Rodney A. Sisson
Todd G. Smith
Franklin J. Terry
Frederick B. Thomas
Daniel J. Tobin
Clarence J. Tougaw
Clarence P. Tougaw
Terrance R. Val
James O. Westcott
John P. Whistler
Benedict C. Williams
Charles Williams, Jr.
Daniel P. Williams
David E. Williams
Joseph J. Williams. Sr.
Raymond E. Wilmer
Benjamin Wright, Sr.
Ronald W. Wrolson
James J. Young
Joseph H. Young
Julius Young, Jr.