Monday, April 23, 2012

Allegiance



I am having some problems with the new interface of blogger...but Ill try this.

I have spent a lot of time in various cemeteries over the past yr and I have learned a lot about history from browsing the stones and going in search of the history behind the stones, the life lived...

I wish I had taken more time here at the Veterans Cemetery in Window Rock, AZ. 



I did notice all the stones are facing the same direction....and there are lots of flags since it is a veterans cemetery...but the strange thing about this cemetery is that it is in a sovereign nation, the Nation of the Navajo, and all buried within are Navajo Soldiers of the US forces!!

The Navajo tribe has given a lot of its native men and women to the cause of wars of the United States of America, including the work they did in WWII as code talkers....their language was not understood by any of the enemy or any of the allies for that matter, so they were able to keep troop movements from being traced by speaking their native language over the 2 way radios.  This memorial sits in Window Rock, the capital city of the Navajo Nation.


I was happy to be at the memorial just a few days prior to Memorial Day, the Navajo are very proud people and although back 1864  the Navajo people were forced to walk 300 miles to be incarcerated in a fort called Defiance, where they lived a harsh life as prisoners of Kit Carson who was ordered to make war on them... this is known as the LONG WALK...

They were eventually released (1868) and granted the land which is now the largest Native American Reservation in the USA. IT encompasses parts of 3 states and covers about 26,000 square miles.  Its so amazing to me that a country that  tried to eradicate its native population would later depend on those same people to help them defeat another enemy that threatened to eradicate all of us!!


PEACE

22 comments:

  1. A very honorable post Sondra!

    Blackberry Winter is upon us. Stay warm.

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    1. Thanks Jean, ITS darn cold here now, last night was 37, and tonight not much better!!

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  2. Great post, and awesome photo of the window rock with the statue. The new blogger layout is weird, I agree, and gmail is just plain driving me crazy. I don't do well with change!

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    1. Thank you Jen! The Window Rock is the sourse of the name for the Captial city of the Navajo Nation, its much like any other American town, with fast food and people working every day to make a living...

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  3. Touching post Sondra.

    The new blogger dashboard still has a function over here to go back to the 'old' look, under the settings.

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    1. I think in the future when Im trying to compose a post I will do just that Keith..Thank you for pointing that out.

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  4. Allegiances can certainly get complicated when faced with war, can't they?

    I find it a bit dishonourable about that torn flag, though.

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    1. Thank you, yes I imagine the torn flag will be replaced by family members as they maintain the cemetery for their loved ones so when the family can afford a new flag Im sure it will be placed.

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  5. What a fantastic post!

    Herding Cats

    http://seathreepeeo.blogspot.co.uk

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  6. Another most interesting and informative post. I find history so much more interesting nowadays than I ever did at school! Fancy having to walk 300 miles...incredible!! I didn't know anything about the 'code talkers', what a simple but effective idea! Your fascinating post prompted me to look up more on Wiki and I saw that Silversmithing was/is an important art form to them, there is a photo of a beautiful 'squash blossom necklace' which (you may already know) is their hallmark piece. I was also taken with their traditional homes called 'hogans'. Made of wood and covered in mud, the door always faces east to welcome the morning sun. Thank you Sondra, thanks to you I now know a lot more about the Navajo people than I did before.

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    1. ME TOO JAN...when you can connect the past to the present it makes more sense...THE Navajo mythology has always been of special interest to me, THERE are so many COOL stories in their older life, that has transferred to the present day Navajo life..

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  7. All fixed. I did notice it, but then went off into my own little world. Sorry.

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  8. I knew about the 'code talkers' from a writing group I once belonged to.

    It is astounding the stories that we can find through graveyards and through individual headstones. The work you do reading, researching and transcribing is a most worthy donation to the cause of ensuring the stories of simple people are told.

    The 'Window Rock' is very impressive ... as is the torn flag. I like the torn flag. It is like rusted iron ... or a mossy rock ... lived in.

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    1. Thank you Julie, that is what I really enjoy about the Taphophile Meme, and thank you for keeping it going, is that EACH individual is worthy of remembering and each of us is making a contribution to life during the time we are on the planet. yeah the torn flag reminds me of a battle flag as if each whip of the wind is a story being told my the flag.

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  9. The photos are great and full of meaning but the natural arch in the background caught my attention. Fantastic!

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    1. Thank you JM, I LOVED visiting this area there is so much natural beauty on the reservation!

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  10. Great post, Sondra. It is very much appropriate for our Anzac Day here in Australia today (equivalent to your Memorial Day). It si also relevant to our Aboriginal population, which although was all by wiped out by the white settlers, fought side by side with other Australians in distant wars.
    Lest we forget...

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    1. Hi Nic, its such a shame that White settlers couldnt cope with what lay in their path and had to destroy it! Have we learned anything? By the looks of the current wars going on I would say NO we are still trying to deal with what we dont understand by destroying it~sadly.

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  11. 300 miles...
    what an interesting post. i didnt know. its good to read about this kind of stuff every now and then and not forget....

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  12. I knew a little bit about the tragic chapter in our history -- and then from hearing about the movie not too many years ago I learned about the code talkers. And yes it is amazing how our country tried to destroy a culture that was "different" and then depended on it..... there is definitely a lesson in there for today, but who is listening and learning?

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  13. A moving post. I agree with others, we seem not to be learning... I had not heard of the code talkers. Both your photos are great. The torn flag evokes images of the battle-worn, and the rock window of hope of a better future (or am I being overly poetic).

    [Re your comment on my Mongolian burial post, I think there must be a cultural connection between the Buddhist and Navajo beliefs; there are similarities.]

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