Memorable Memorial Day Santa Ysabel 2007

by Roy Cook

As we move from the San Diego May grey into the bright sunny skies of Ramona our hearts beat a little faster and smiles come easier. The American Indian Warriors Association (AIWA) Color Guard is again assembling at the Santa Ysabel mission for the Santa Ysabel Band of Diegueno Tribal Memorial Day activities.

This year Felix Valle Sr. WW II veteran military service is acknowledged.
He served with Merrill’s Marauders in Burma and was the recipient of many awards including the Bronze Star for Valor.

The recent construction of another entrance and an expansion of the Tribal cemetery required an adjustment to these changes. Ron Christman, Santa Ysabel tribal member, leads spiritual blessing and Traditional Tucuk Bird singing.

Chairman Johnnie Hernandez provided both opening and closing remarks. Stan Rodriguez read the list of departed Tribal Veterans and a bell was rung for each in memory of their military service. Also Jayce Young performs a moving acknowledgment of Taps on the trumpet.

Finally the welcome sounds of, “Kanuk kanuk kasaw.” Is announced. Lunch is being served in the Santa Ysabel Tribal gym. All are welcome to come up for a bite. And a fine meal it is with: good company, welcome conversation and smiles all around. Pit cooked beef, chicken, ham, fresh cooked beans, macaroni and cheese and handmade warm tortillas. Fresh potato salad and salsa was all delightful. Lots of guilt free choices of deserts and choices of drinks too.

We, in AIWA, Thank and appreciate the invitation of our gracious hosts, Santa Ysabel Band of Diegueno Tribal members. Each year we look forward to this opportunity to be of service to our Indian people on Indian land and in recognition of our American Indian Veterans.

Mehan, Ah woo mah.