Whether it is a service medal or a photo of a uniformed soldier, Cherokee Nation officials want to honor Cherokee veterans by showcasing military artifacts and memorabilia.
Veterans or families who are interested in contributing items are invited to a reception Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Cherokee Nation Veterans Center, which will be the home to these iconic pieces. The 2–4 p.m. event is hosted by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Principal Chief Joe Crittenden.
“The Veterans Center is hallowed ground at the Cherokee Nation tribal complex. We are sharing our tribe’s rich military history and commitment when we display mementos and personal keepsakes of our brave men and women,” said Crittenden, a U.S. Navy veteran. “We have created a place to honor and respect those Cherokee citizens who have served this great country and sacrificed so much for our collective freedoms. Their story is our story, and we will honor that in a proud, proper and traditional way.”
Officials plan to display uniforms, military gear and equipment, flags, videos, recordings, unit insignia, diaries, personal messages, photographs, military maps and charts, books and history of personal or unit service, dog tags, medals, and service-related documents, newspapers, books, and records.
The 7,700-square-foot Veterans Center houses veteran assistance and benefit offices, a kitchen, a community room, a library and a museum. The entrance will feature a “Wall of Honor” of Cherokee veterans.
For more information about contributing an item to the Cherokee Nation Veterans Center, call (918) 384-7863.
The Veterans Center is located just east of the W.W. Keeler Complex, 17675 S. Muskogee Ave., in Tahlequah.