I’ve been thinking about war memorials, something every country has to honor those who fell in combat, but I’m not aware of a true national memorial like Arlington dedicated to those of ours who fell.
There are commemorative plaques and such scattered around at various locations but nothing on the scale of Arlington or the tomb of the unknown soldier.
We were never seen as a people defending their homeland and loved ones, we were merely “the enemy”, an impediment to westward expansion – but the fact remains our reasons for fighting were as valid as anyone else’s and I could list a number of examples and occasions when they far exceeded those of others.
In fact every indigenous person in this entire hemisphere could do likewise.
Our tribal lands as they previously existed were seen as resources, and to this day wherever we have been relocated/confined to if a resource is coveted it spells trouble.
In more modern times we’ve contributed to the land grab in selling or leasing it, we should have known better or at least entered into equitable lease agreements with an authoritative oversight when it came to mining and the like.
Failing to do so is a characteristic of poverty, a little money can be tempting and look like a lot when the needs are pressing – we haven’t had the option to look beyond the immediacy of the moment and suffered the consequences as a result of that.
Governments are about “appropriating” – they may refer to it for reasons of “national defense”, or eminent and public domain, but the end result in this country is the government owns a huge amount of land as illustrated by the below links.
This sort of appropriation is mitigated only by financial and social status – and some local governments are even claiming they own the rainfall ( a resource) that falls on a persons property.
Maybe someday as a people we will have a national war monument, one that doesn’t destroy mountains like Rushmore or the ongoing Crazy Horse construction which will never amount to anything more than another tourist attraction.
Maybe someday a monument will be built for those who had what they thought was their land appropriated – but I’m not really anticipating either.