Indigenous Peoples’ Day lauded

Monday, Oct. 14, marks the first observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Menomonie and Dunn County.

Because of recent resolutions passed by the city of Menomonie and Dunn County, we now join over 100 municipalities across the nation including Eau Claire, Wausau, La Crosse, Superior, Minneapolis and St. Paul and seven states, including South Dakota and Minnesota and Maine, recognizing and honoring indigenous people on the second Monday in October.

The Menominee, Ojibwe, Ho Chunk and Dakota nations all have land roots in Dunn County and are among the 11 federally recognized tribes in Wisconsin, each a sovereign nation, each with unique cultures, languages and rich contributions to Wisconsin’s identity.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes the contributions past and present of these nations, the pathways and resources indigenous people developed and shared with settlers in our region and the continuing vibrant presence and contributions to our state and nation.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes that the history of this land did not start with the Vikings, Columbus and European explorers. These lands were not sparsely settled by a few scattered native tribes, but were home to millions of indigenous people and many established nations, each with highly developed, unique cultures. The observance also recognizes the suffering that resulted because of settlement and the need to address the poverty and racism experienced by indigenous people throughout our shared history.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day takes responsibility for telling our nation’s story more accurately and opens the door to education and awareness by recognizing our deepest history. We are proud that the Menomonie City Council and Dunn County Board of Supervisors unanimously recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day and look forward to opportunities across the region to heal the past and build a strong shared future together.

Marion and Warren Lang

Menomonie

Honor flight experience memorable

My Freedom Honor Flight on Sept. 14 to Washington, D.C., would not have been possible without flight guardians like Ty Ellis from Eau Claire.

From the security check at the La Crosse airport, then on the flight, and at Reagan National Airport and the guided tours of monuments, Ty was with Joe and myself, always calm, polite and explaining what he knew without rushing on to the next stop. Thank you, Ty.

The great memorials are to all branches of military service. For those who’ve given their lives, they deserve these honors etched in granite. They would want us to know that “Freedom Isn’t Free.” It came at great cost as they gave all. All gave something, some gave all. Another message carved in granite, said “Uncommon valor when valor was common.” Another read, “Free because of the brave.”

The enthusiastic honor showered on us veterans at the La Crosse airport and again at Reagan National was a total surprise to me. If only the veterans who gave their all could have heard it, seen it and shared it.

I would say to all who thanked me for my service, we did it for you, we did it for the ones left behind, we did it for the helpless, and we did it for the ones not yet born.

The emotional overload I felt that day, Ty Ellis, hasn’t left me yet. Thank you, again.

Camden Thomas

Eau Claire