Sicangue Lakotah member Eric LaPointe finds his grandfather Black Bear’s name on the Zuya Wicasa panel of the Indian Memorial at the Little Bighorn National Monument in Garryowen. Six of LaPointe’s ancestors are listed on the panel. A ceremony Wednesday marked the completion of the memorial to Indian warriors 138 years after their defeat of the 7th Cavalry. (AP Photo)
By SUSAN OLP/The Billings Gazette
GARRYOWEN — Etched in granite on the Indian Memorial at the Little Bighorn Battlefield are words spoken by Cheyenne warrior Young Two Moons.
“It was a hot, clear day and no wind,” he said of the June 25, 1876, battle. “There was a great dust from fighting, but no storm after the battle.”
On Wednesday, at the battlefield where Indian warriors celebrated victory over the 7th Cavalry 138 years ago, it wasn’t hard to imagine a day like the one Young Two Moons described. With mostly clear skies and temperatures in the low 80s, the weather mirrored the day of the battle.
Wednesday was a victory of another sort for the Indian tribes that took part in the historic battle. Eleven years after the Indian Memorial was initially dedicated at the battlefield, a ceremony marked its final completion.
Granite panels that are 10 inches thick, 44 inches high and 78 to 91 inches wide have replaced the temporary aluminum plates initially put in place. They commemorate the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors who allied in 1876 to form the largest Native army ever recorded on the Northern Plains.
Panels in the circular memorial also honored the Crow and Arikara scouts who served with the U.S. Army against their traditional, more powerful enemy tribes.
Read the full article at the Daily Inter Lake.