Honoring our Servicemen and Women

In honor of Veterans Day, which is observed each year on Nov. 11, CIRI would like to pay tribute to our men and women in uniform. Thank you to all who serve, especially our shareholders, descendants and their families. We appreciate your service, your sacrifice and for fighting to protect our freedom!

CIRI shareholder and Korean War veteran John Pickett Sr. (left) holds a letter from CIRI President and CEO Sophie Minich.
Accompanying Mr. Pickett is volunteer John Hartley. Photo courtesy of Mr. Hartley.

Honor Flight for CIRI shareholder John Pickett Sr.

A veteran of the Korean War, original CIRI shareholder John Pickett Sr. was honored Oct. 16-20 with an Honor Flight from Alaska to Washington, D.C. The Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit dedicated to honoring America’s veterans for their sacrifices, flying them to Washington, D.C., to visit and reflect at their memorials.

CIRI President and CEO Sophie Minich was pleased to be asked by the Last Frontier Honor Flight to write a letter in recognition of Mr. Pickett’s service.

“We are privileged to live in a country where the cost of freedom, as you especially know, is not free; it has been paid for by the sacrifices of the men and women like you who have served and fought for the flag of our nation and all it represents,” Minich wrote to Mr. Pickett. “Those who are willing to pay the price – the time away from family, the dangers of the battleground – are true heroes.”

“John was big-time surprised to receive a letter from you,” John Hartley, a volunteer who accompanied Mr. Pickett and the other veterans on the Honor Flight, told Minich. “I can’t thank you enough!”

National Native American Veterans Memorial. Design by Harvey
Pratt, illustration by Skyline Ink. Rendering courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian.

Design Chosen for National Native American Veterans Memorial

Honoring the military service of Alaska Native and American Indian people, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian will establish on its grounds a National Native American Veterans Memorial.

According to the Smithsonian, the memorial will consist of an elevated steel circle balanced on a stone drum. The design incorporates water for sacred ceremonies, benches for gathering and reflection, and four lances where veterans, family members, tribal leaders and others can tie cloths for prayers and healing.

Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne and Arapaho), a 77-year-old Marine Corps veteran from Oklahoma, designed the monument. His design, titled “Warriors’ Circle of Honor,” was unanimously selected by the eight-member jury committee from more than 120 proposals from across the globe.

The memorial will be unveiled at a dedication ceremony on Veterans Day in 2020 at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit americanindian.si.edu.