Ambassador Stevens was an American Indian.
Yesterday, he was an American. Just as Pima tribal citizen Ira Hayes was an American when he raised the flag on Iwo Jima during World War II, Ambassador Stevens was an American. Ira Hayes is immortalized in the Iwo Jima Memorial near the Pentagon. Somehow his American Indianness gets forgotten in the Memorial. He is simply an American.
Yesterday, Ambassador Stevens’ American Indianness was obscured by the American flag, which is fine. He shared a dual status. American Indians understand this.
The point is it is up to all us to tell our children about the great contributions American Indians have made and continue to make on behalf of the United States of America. Even with all of difficulties we have as American Indians in seeking justice for broken treaties, American Indians, the great warriors we are, continue to serve our nation.
Ambassador Stevens was part of a lineage of the first Americans, who served this nation well.
We honor his service to the United States of America.