The inspiring new memorial dedicated to indigenous veterans is a beautiful addition to the National Mall.
What is the National Native American Veterans Memorial and where is it?
The National Native American Veterans Memorial is a fitting and outstanding addition to the grounds of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, located at 4th Street & Independence Avenue SW. The intimate space was designed by architect Harvey Pratt and opened on Veterans Day, 2020.
The memorial is specifically tailored to inspire remembrance, reflection and healing as visitors contemplate the immense sacrifice of Native soldiers. Today, more than 31,000 Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and Alaska Natives serve on active duty. More than 140,000 veterans identify as Native. And for the first time, the bravery and selflessness of these individuals can be honored on a national scale, within sight of the U.S. Capitol.
The memorial is free to visit and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What will I see at the National Native American Veterans Memorial?
The memorial offers a multi-sensory experience for visitors. The design is simple yet powerful and has many intricate features, the most prominent being the captivating stainless steel circle at its center. The memorial’s design thoughtfully includes benches for visitors to sit and reflect, the presence and sound of water for sacred ceremonies, and four lances for veterans, their families, tribe leaders and others to tie cloths for prayers and healing.
When you visit, be sure to listen to the continuous music playing throughout, which includes thirteen Native American veteran songs from the Ojibwe, Menominee, Blackfeet, Ho-Chunk, Kiowa, and Lakota Nations from the Smithsonian Folkways recording American Warriors: Songs for Indian Veterans.