Santa Ysabel Memorial Day 2008

By Roy Cook

Each year we look forward with anticipation and respectful responsibility when we participate in the Memorial Day activity for the Santa Ysabel community at the Tribal cemetery. American Indian Warriors Association Honor Guard posted all our flags for an outstanding showing. This year was a bit cool and breezy but Memorial Day organizer Bonnie Salgado warmly welcomed all to the event. This year Sergeant Fred Ortega, U. S. Army WWII fallen Warrior is honored and remembered by friends and relatives. Our Fallen Warriors of many conflicts are not forgotten in the hearts of their Tribal relatives.

Ron Christman sang Honoring Tucuk Bird songs. It is always very touching and emotional when the roll of the present Santa Ysabel Veterans and then Santa Ysabel fallen warriors are remembered and a ships bell is rung for each. Again, to complete this tribute Taps were blown for all Veterans who have fallen.

Amazingly, there is a cathartic experience that occurs each and every time we get together. Thank you for allowing me this day, to experience this AIWA band of brothers, a little bent, a little bruised but still willing to help each other out. These experiences are much as those we recall in active service with our military buddy on the line and at our side.

This is a day of respect for our fallen warriors everywhere and it is tied together with traditional tribal hospitality and generosity. Indian events on Indian land for and by Indian people are the best times. We extend our appreciation to those AIWA members and family who represented the organization in respectful attendance and service to our Indian Tribal community: Jerry Reed, Ronnie Murphy, Jerry Starnes, George Hyde, Larry Strickland, Joaquin Sandoval and Richard Decrane. As a unit, AIWA, appreciated the invitation and opportunity to visit the Santa Ysabel Casino for lunch and a bit of entertainment.

We must always remember that our Indian Warriors who gave so much so that our people may enjoy the freedom to be ourselves. Our Indian land is forever Indian land. It matters little what others say or what paper labels nor what legalism defines or fences separate. It is all Indian land.