The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has broken ground on a memorial to honor Native American veterans.
"Our challenge was to create a memorial that will be meaningful and honor all Native American veterans," said project coordinator Rebecca Trautmann. That includes American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who served from the Revolutionary War until today.
The design of the memorial was created by Harvey Pratt, who is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran.
The museum consulted Native American veterans to inform the design process, Trautmann said.
"We heard that it was very important to them that the experience of visiting the memorial be a healing one and a peaceful experience," Trautmann said.
The circular memorial will be located outside the museum, nestled into the trees and landscape.
National Native American Veterans Memorial will be the “first national landmark in Washington, D.C., to focus on the contributions of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who have served in the military,” according to the museum.