Veterans Day Report: Native Valor In The Battlefields Of World War I

A Century Ago, American Indian Soldiers Were Praised For Battle Skills Overseas  Masked medics of 1918. Red Cross workers aid World War I in...

A Century Ago, American Indian Soldiers Were Praised For Battle Skills Overseas 

Masked medics of 1918. Red Cross workers aid World War I injured soldiers. The Spanish Flu was raging throughout the world at the time of the war and masks protected rescue workers. (Associated Press) 

Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th. It is named after Armistice Day. World War I ended on 11/11/11 of 1918 – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year.

Later, in March, 1920, after World War I had ended, Native American soldiers were praised in an Arkansas newspaper for their valor in Europe. Natives fought side by side with the general soldier population, and that was a great idea:  

INDIAN SOLDIERS
The American Indians have proven themselves wonderful fighting men. Now Congress is being urged to enlist one or more complete divisions of them for the regular army. There can be no objection to this, other than a possible criticism that it is segregating men who would be most helpful in a military way by being distributed. The European records show that there were no better soldiers than the Indians in the American Expeditionary Forces.

There were 10,000 sons of this ancient race over there. They fought not as separate units, but along side of their white comrades; just as expert with the rifle, just as strong to the finish, just as brave as the bravest; just as resolute as men can be who don't know how to retreat.

Such men and their descendants must be preserved for the fall, says the Bottom Post. An American division comprises 25,000 men and there is not a shadow of a doubt that an Indian division would make a wonderful machine; but so would a dozen Indian regiments distributed among so many divisions. 
 
From the Courier-Index, March 12, 1920 of Marianna, Arkansas 


This is a story by the Copper River Country Journal celebrating Native Heritage Month, 2021.

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