Veterans Day: Stories from Native American Veterans 3

Veterans Day: “Why We Serve”

  • Dates:
    Nov 11, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
  • Ages:
    All ages
  • Where:
    Online program
  • Tickets:


  • Accessibility:

    Accessible online

Veterans Day
Thursday, November 11, 1:00 PM 
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are not able to present our planned program for Veterans Day; we hope to bring that story to you in the future.
In honor of Veterans Day, we invite you to visit the online exhibition Why We Serve by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. From the museum’s website:

Why We Serve honors the generations of Native Americans who have served in the armed forces of the United States—often in extraordinary numbers—since the American Revolution.

For some, the Indigenous commitment to the U.S. military doesn’t make sense. Why would Indians serve a country that overran their homelands, suppressed their cultures, and confined them to reservations?

Native people have served for the same reasons as anyone else: to demonstrate patriotism or pursue employment, education, or adventure. Many were drafted. Yet tribal warrior traditions, treaty commitments with the United States, and responsibility for defending Native homelands have also inspired the enduring legacy of Indigenous military service.

Why We Serve commemorates the National Native American Veterans Memorial, dedicated at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

At the link below you can view the exhibition gallery, learn about code talkers and the use of Native languages in war, consider war and peace, and more.

Explore the exhibition Why We Serve

We also recommend the associated recorded conversation on YouTube featuring authors Alexandra Harris and Mark Hirsch, who co-wrote the book Why We Serve: Native Americans in the United States Armed Forces.

Why We Serve conversation with the authors