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Old 11-08-2008, 01:17 AM   #1
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Cherokee Nation Color Guard to March in New York City’s Veterans Day Parade

TAHLEQUAH, OK — Representing the Cherokee Nation and Native American veterans, the Cherokee Nation Color Guard will march in the Veterans Day Parade in New York City. The parade will take place on Tuesday, November 11, at 11 a.m., but will not be televised.

“Veterans Day is a time to for us to pause, reflect and review our understanding of what honor is,” said Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. “Then we can, with precise clarity, know and appreciate the contribution our veterans have made and when we honor them it has a personal and penetrating meaning.”

The New York City Veterans Day Parade has taken place since 1929. According to parade literature, over 20,000 people take part in the parade every year. This year’s theme is “Legacy of Honor.” The event is said to be the largest of its kind in the United States and is an opportunity to honor those men and women who have protected and preserved the nation’s freedoms.

“It’s a great honor for our organization to even be considered for this event,” said Don Stroud, President. “To be asked to represent Cherokee veterans is quite an honor. We know we are responsible for promoting the image of the Cherokee Nation and other Native Americans serving in the military and we take this opportunity very seriously.”

According to Stroud, the Color Guard’s goal is to remind the public of the commitment that Native Americans have to the military. The non-profit organization is made up of 14 Native American veterans and was designated by the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council as the tribe’s official Color Guard in 2002.

In Tahlequah, the Cherokee Nation will also host a ceremony honoring veterans on Monday, November 10, at 10 a.m., at the Cherokee Warriors Memorial located on the east side of the Cherokee Nation complex. The award-winning Cherokee National Youth Choir will be in attendance and will sing a medley of patriotic songs along with the Stilwell High School Marching Band. The event is open to the public.

“Veterans Day is a time to honor our military for the sacrifices they make for our country,” said Joe Grayson Jr., Deputy Chief of the Cherokee Nation. “Often when people think of veterans they think of the men that have fought for our freedoms, but we should take this time to remember the women in the military as well. Many of these women leave their husbands and children behind to protect our freedoms. That is an extra burden for them. Let us remember all of who have served and their families, especially now during the holiday season.”

“Come and join the staff of the Office of Veterans Affairs for a brief Veterans Day ceremony. Let’s show our Veterans and our Active Duty service members that we understand and are thankful for their sacrifices and their valor,” said Rogan Noble, Tribal Veterans Representative. “We will never forget those who have fought and died in the defense of our homeland”.

For more information about the Cherokee Nation’s Veterans Day Ceremony contact (918) 453-5695.
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