Updated with corrected date for Tutterow event
On Monday, January 6, the Crawford County Library District officially opened “Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces,” an exhibit from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, at Recklein Auditorium in Cuba. The traveling exhibit runs through February 7.
Also sponsored by the Missouri Humanities Council, “Patriot Nations” explores the ways in which Native men and women have served America’s armed forces in every major military encounter from the Revolutionary War to today’s conflicts in the Middle East in higher numbers per capita than any other ethnic group.
Visitors to the “Patriot Nations” exhibit will learn how Native American servicemen and women served to protect and defend the United States, through a series of engaging and historic photographs, narrative, and video presentations. The 16-panel exhibition documents 250 years of Native peoples’ contributions in U.S. military history.
“Tens of thousands of Native Americans joined the U.S. armed forces during World Wars I and II,” said Herman J. Viola, curator emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and curator of “Patriot Nations.” “Forty-thousand Native Americans served in World War II; the entire population of Native Americans was less than 350,000 at that time. They are Purple Heart recipients and Bronze Star medal honorees. Many have been recognized with the Congressional Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military award.”
The contributions Natives have made to the U.S. military have been largely unrecognized, but that will soon change with the development of the National Native American Veterans Memorial, which was requisitioned by Congress to be placed on the grounds of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
The exhibit, which was also made possible by the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. At times, it will be closed to the public for school tours.
There are also special events planned as follows: January 11—Grand opening at 11 a.m. with Jim Duncan speaking on the Osage in Missouri; January 14—Lindsey Kaye Manshack with Then and Now: American Indian Representation in Missouri at 6:30 p.m.; January 21—Galen Gritts speaks On Being Cherokee at 6:30 p.m.; January 28—Glen and Curtis Tutterrow speak on the vision and construction of the Osage Trail Legacy Monument at 6:30 p.m.; and February 4—Closing program at 6 p.m. with Suzanne White speaking on Cherokee storytelling.
Additional event information can be found at www.mohumanities.org/patriot-nations/. Those interested in volunteering to work at the exhibit may contact Recklein Memorial Library at 573-885-7324.
The “Patriot Nations” exhibit, shown here during a sneak peek for the media on Friday, is now open to the public at Recklein Auditorium in Cuba. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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