The Highground is honored to have been chosen as the home of The National Native American Vietnam Veterans Memorial, “The Forgotten Warrior.” Unanimous approval for this decision was given at the annual conference of the National Congress of American Indians held in Denver, CO in 1994.
Dedicated September 16, 1995, The National Native American Vietnam Veterans Memorial is the first national memorial to come to The Highground.
Harry Whitehorse, Madison sculptor and WWII U.S. Navy veteran, created this bronze sculpture. Former Ho-Chunk Legislator Dallas Whitewing initiated the idea to create the tribute. Whitewing approached artist Ken Lewis for help in designing the tribute. Lewis’s sketches were then given to Harry Whitehorse.
Over 42,000 Native Americans fought in Vietnam—more than 90 percent of them were volunteers. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall listing those killed during the Vietnam War includes 232 names that are identified as Native Americans or Alaska Natives.
Mounted on a red granite base, the sculpture depicts a Native American Soldier in jungle fatigues, holding a rifle in one hand and an Eagle Feather Staff in the other. The names, rank, home of record, date of casualty, and how they died (still to be completed is the tribal affiliation) of all Native American Indians who died as a result of the Vietnam war are etched into the four black granite panels which skirt the base of the entire statuary. When we do tours we emphasize the importance of the Eagle Feather Staff. An Eagle Staff is used to denote a member of an honor society or a service Veteran. It is more important and meaningful than any other flag to the tribal members. It represents a tribe’s accomplishments in battle and the integrity and honor of its people.
(Stay Tuned Audio of this Tribute Coming Soon)