Lori Ann Piestewa's Legacy

      In reverse chronological order April 12 through May 27, 2003
~ Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Piestewa lauded for 'courage'

Terry Piestewa, father of Army Spc. Lori Piestewa, receives a hug and a gift from Lisa Graham of the Women's Eagle Staff while Lori's mother, Priscilla, looks on during a ceremony Monday at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

WASHINGTON More than 400 people turned out on Memorial Day to salute Army Spc. Lori Piestewa, many of them bringing gifts, songs they've written and other tributes to the fallen Hopi soldier's family.

The tributes came as a Pentagon official for the first time publicly confirmed that Piestewa, in fact, fought back courageously as her unit was ambushed in southern Iraq on March 23.

"She drew her weapon and fought and did it with courage and honor," Shirley Martinez, deputy assistant Air Force secretary for equal opportunity, said at a ceremony Monday at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

~ Sunday, May 11, 2003

First Lady Meets With Family of Slain Soldier

Kayenta, Ariz. (AP) _ First lady Laura Bush met Thursday with the family of Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, the only servicewoman killed during the Iraq war.

"The strength of the family was evident," she said during a stop in this Navajo Reservation community. "Because of Lori the world focused on the first servicewoman to die in combat."

Piestewa, 23, a member of the Hopi Tribe, was killed when her support convoy was ambushed near Nasiriyah in Iraq. The mother of two small children enlisted in the Army two years ago.

Piestewa has since become one of the most celebrated soldiers among Arizona war casualties. The state has renamed a Phoenix mountain peak and a freeway to honor Piestewa.


Coeur d'Alenes Remove "Squaw" Place Names

Plummer, Idaho (AP) _ The Coeur d'Alene Tribal Council on Thursday announced that it changed the names of two geographic features on the reservation to take the word "squaw" off the map.

The tribe approved changing "Squaw Hump" and "Squaw Creek" to "Nehchen (nah-CHEN) Bluff" and "Nehchen Creek."

The new names are for Neechen Ann Mary, a Coeur d'Alene tribal member who was the wife of Chief Peter Moctleme and who owned property in the area of the geographic features, the tribe said in a prepared statement.

There are at least 90 places in Idaho containing "squaw" in their names, considered offensive to many American Indians.


Formal, private tributes honor fallen Native American soldier

When you hear the name Lori Ann Piestewa, what comes to mind?

If you are like many other Americans, you probably know that Piestewa was the soldier killed in Iraq who is believed to be the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the U.S. military.

You may or may not know that the name of a mountain in Phoenix has been changed from Squaw Peak to Piestewa Peak to honor her and to erase from the mountain's name a word that is profoundly demeaning to Native American women. And the name of Squaw Peak Freeway was changed to Piestewa Freeway.

The new names are gloriously appropriate tributes to the Hopi Indian woman from Tuba City, Ariz.

But the significance of Piestewa's death goes beyond her identity as the Native American woman who died after her unit was ambushed by Iraqi troops near Nasiriyah on March 23, 2003.

~ Saturday, May 10, 2003

ACF Creates Piestewa Scholarship Fund

The Arizona Community Foundation is partnering with two of its affiliate foundations -- the Hopi Foundation and Tuba City Community Foundation, to form the Pfc. Lori Piestewa Memorial Scholarship Fund. In memory of Army Pfc. Piestewas service and commitment to her country and the Hopi Tribe, the scholarship will be a permanent endowment fund to help Native Americans with their college education.


Piestewa remembered in ceremony

TUBA CITY, Ariz. (AP) — Hundreds of mourners stood and cheered Saturday when Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano called for a Phoenix mountain to be renamed after Pfc. Lori Piestewa, the first American Indian woman in the U.S. military known to have been killed in combat.

“It’s left to us to make sense of her loss and carry on the legacy she left behind,’’ Napolitano said at a memorial service held in this Navajo Reservation community’s high school gymnasium.



NEWS WATCH salutes The Arizona Republic at Phoenix for showing community leadership and making a difference with its strong commentaries after learning that Pfc. Lori Piestewa, a Hopi Indian from Tuba City, Ariz., had been killed when her Army unit was ambushed by Iraqi soldiers March 23.

~ Friday, May 09, 2003

Piestewa is latest hard-to-pronounce name for Arizona

If any state is a minefield of hard-to-pronounce names, it's Arizona.

After all, this is a place where cultures and languages co-exist and collide, where words rooted in Spanish and Indian languages have been anglicized.

Correctly pronouncing Mogollon Rim and Canyon de Chelly takes practice. For Casa Grande, we say "cassa grand" instead of "ca-sa gran-day."

The newest word in our tongue-twisting lexicon is Piestewa. It is pronounced pie-ESS-tuh-wah, though other versions have crept into Valley speech.

It is the new name for Squaw Peak and Squaw Peak Freeway, honoring Pfc. Lori Piestewa, 23, a Hopi and the first Native American woman killed in combat for the U.S. military. The Tuba City woman died in Iraq.

~ Thursday, May 08, 2003

Piestewa fought to save others, Renzi says

The first American servicewoman to die in Operation Iraqi Freedom fought to give others in her unit time to escape an ambush, said an Arizona congressman.

Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, a Hopi Tribe member from Tuba City, was driving a truck with the 507th Maintenance Company from Fort Bliss when the unit of cooks, supply clerks and mechanics was ambushed.


Blanket tribute to Piestewa

Tohono O'odham jail inmates Roy Rios and Jasper Miguel painted an image of Hopi Lori Piestewa on blankets for her children.

The men said the blankets are for the brother and sister to snuggle under and to know that their mommy's spirit is with them.

Piestewa is the first American Indian woman to die in combat in a foreign war.


Sadness, pride consume Tuba City

On April 4, word came that Piestewa had been killed. She is believed to be the first American servicewoman to die in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first Native American female to die in conflict on foreign soil.

Lori Piestewa was the third of four children born to Priscilla and Terry Lorry Piestewa, whose cultural roots are Hispanic and Hopi Indian.

“To be Hopi means to be people of peace and Lori is making all of this happen,” said Faye Begay, a neighbor of Piestewa’s when she lived in Lower Moencopi.

~ Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Lori Piestewa: Valiant Hero Of The 507th

There's new information about the final moments of the first Native American woman killed in combat.

An Arizona Congressman says Lori Piestewa of the 507th Maintenance Company was not captured and executed during an ambush in Iraq, but died while fighting valiantly.

The Pentagon has yet to issue a final report on exactly what happened to members of the 507th Maintenance Unit during that fatal ambush in Iraq--but we are hearing some new information about the only woman who was killed....


Inaugural games set in Piestewa's name

The inaugural Lori Piestewa National Native American Games will be held July 18-20 throughout northern Arizona.

The Grand Canyon State Games host the event, which was held for Native Americans in Arizona before going national.

The games will honor Piestewa, the first Native American woman killed in combat.

"We are grateful that the family of Lori Piestewa is allowing her name to be used," said Erik Widmark, the executive director of the Grand Canyon State Games.

The event is open to the 511 tribes throughout the United States, and athletes must be one-quarter Native American to compete. The sports to be contested include basketball, softball, volleyball and track and field.

Opening ceremonies will be held July 17.

Information: The Lori Piestewa National Native American Games


Praise for Piestewa, governor

Three months ago, I would have been willing to bet that if you asked most people to name any famous Native Americans, the names of Geronimo, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and Pocahontas would top the list. For those with a little more insight the names Jim Thorpe and Ira Hayes might be given, but wait, we can't forget quarterbacks Sonny Sixkiller and the Oakland Raiders' Jim Plunkett, and how about local News 12 reporter Mary Kim Titla. Today if the question were asked, the name of Pfc. Lori Piestewa most likely would be mentioned.

~ Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Annual bike run to honor Piestewa

WINDOW ROCK, AZ - Council Delegate Larry Noble (Steamboat), a motorcycle rider, said this year he wants to honor the late Spc. Lori Piestewa by organizing a Navajo-Hopi honor bike run this month.

(Piestewa's family were officially informed at the time of her funeral that she had been promoted from private first class to specialist first class.)

"We wanted to honor her bravery and her sacrifice," Noble said. "She did it for all nations, not just Navajo and Hopi."

~ Monday, May 05, 2003

Private Lori’s ‘forever’ victory

Against limited but virulent opposition, the great energy and outpouring of heartfelt empathy for the memory of the fallen sister soldier, U.S. Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, has generated a great symbolic victory for Native peoples everywhere.

The Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic names has approved the renaming of Squaw Peak, located in North-Central Phoenix, to Piestewa Peak.

From where we sit, this is a wonderful accomplishment and a most proper way to honor the heroic and dedicated Hopi hero whose life was sacrificed in service to her Indian nation and America.

~ Sunday, May 04, 2003

Sedition and a Warrior's Legacy

What matters here, to me, is that this Hopi mother was obliged, for whatever reason, to volunteer to fight and, ultimately, die for a country that treats the First Nations as if they were members of the third world.


Peak renamed: history at the crossroads in Arizona

PHOENIX, AZ - Commenting on the extraordinary decision of the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names to rename "Squaw Peak" in honor of fallen American soldier Lori Piestewa, Arizona State Representative Jack Jackson Jr. stated, "History has come to the crossroads in Arizona."

The board voted April 18 to rename the Phoenix landmark.

The name Squaw Peak, has long been a source of irritation to the Arizona Indian community which consists of 22 federally recognized tribal nations.

Rep. Jackson, a member of the Dine Nation from Window Rock is a long-time proponent of removing the word ‘squaw’ from all Arizona landmarks and geographic sites.

~ Saturday, May 03, 2003

Hwy. 51 now Piestewa Parkway

The familiar signs on Squaw Peak Parkway will be changed.

The Arizona Dept. of Transportation changed the name to Piestewa Parkway.

It's to honor Pfc. Lori Piestewa,
a Hopi native from Tuba City and the only American woman to die in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

~ Friday, May 02, 2003

What about Private Lori?

This is the tale of two privates. They were sisters-in-arms - two young women fighting for Uncle Sam.

They were roommates at Fort Bliss military base in Texas; tentmates in the Gulf, and close friends at all places in between.

Then they (and 13 other members of the US Army's 507th Maintenance Company) took a wrong turn in the southern Iraqi city of Nassiriya and were ambushed.

One, Jessica Lynch, 19, was injured, hospitalised and then rescued by Special Forces to emerge as the poster girl for American resilience and camaraderie.

The other, Lori Piestewa, 23, was killed, with the gruesome distinction of being the first native American in the US army to be killed in combat and the only American servicewoman to die in this war.


A brighter path

Creating more opportunities on reservation would truly honor Piestewa

If Arizona wants a lasting and fitting tribute to Pfc. Lori Piestewa, then it should commit itself to reducing the poverty and despair that plague Indian reservations, particularly in the northern part of our state.

When you examine the life of the 23-year-old Army private, and examine the circumstances that took her from Tuba City to Nasiriyah, Iraq, you come away with one troubling impression:

How do you escape the poverty, the lack of opportunity, the boredom and hopelessness that reservation life too often imposes?


Arizona 51 is now Piestewa Freeway

The State Transportation Board voted 5-2 earlier in the day to rename the Squaw Peak Freeway
to match that of the newly renamed peak.

"It's the right thing to do," said Victor Mendez, head of the Arizona Department of Transportation,
who said the change went into effect immediately.

Changing the name of the freeway honors Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, eliminates the derogatory term of squaw and keeps the name the same as that of the peak, Mendez said.

Piestewa, a Hopi, is the first Native American woman killed in combat as an American soldier.

Hopi Chairman Wayne Taylor urged the board to vote for the change,
saying there was nothing uplifting or inspiring about the Squaw Peak name.

Meanwhile, in Washington, the federal panel that would authorize the renaming of the peak will likely discuss the issue next Thursday.

Robert Hiatt, chairman of the domestic side of the U.S. Board of Geographic Names, said the issue will likely come up, even though no official request has come from Arizona, "because there's been so much controversy about it."

Officially, the federal panel is prohibited from changing the name for five years.

"We hope it will get done much faster than that," said Tim Nelson, Gov. Janet Napolitano's legal counsel.

"My understanding is that the federal board gives great deference to the state board."

~ Thursday, May 01, 2003

Piestewa fought 'with all her might,' Renzi says

WASHINGTON, DC - Pfc. Lori Piestewa, driving the truck carrying Pfc. Jessica Lynch and others when their unit was ambushed by Iraqis, fought "tooth and nail" alongside a sergeant to give other soldiers time to climb out, a congressman said Wednesday.

"What's in my craw is to make sure the truth about this woman's valor and courage is told,"
said Rick Renzi, R-Ariz.

"Her last stand was fighting with all her might, defending her own people.
She fought with courage and valor."

~ Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Honoring a Warrior

When an American Indian falls in battle fighting a war for the United States, there is always a bit of irony in dying for a country that claims the right to violate our treaties. Indian sons have always answered the call, though, and to this day I know very few Indian men qualified for service who are not veterans.

Last week, we got a triple dose of irony when we learned that the first Indian killed in action in Iraq is one of our daughters, Army PFC Lori Ann Piestewa of the Hopi Nation. Triple dose? She’s Indian. She’s female. She’s Hopi.

The Hopi are not a warlike people. They are farmers with a spiritual tradition that stressed ecology before ecology was a word in both relationships with land and relationships with other human beings. Many Hopis were convicted of draft resistance during World War II because the United States would not at first recognize their traditional religion as grounds for conscientious objection.


Renaming of freeway on agenda

As the dust settles on newly renamed Piestewa Peak, the State Transportation Board meets
Thursday to consider renaming Squaw Peak Freeway to match.

"I think there is a diversity of opinion on the board," Chairman Ingo Radicke said Tuesday.
"I think the right thing is to make the change."

"I hope the board will do the right thing."


Mom, Hopi, hero: Piestewa an icon

Lori is spelled out in rocks on a mesa near Tuba City

She has become the nation's most recognizable Native American military icon since another Arizonan, Ira Hayes, helped raise the Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima.

Emory's Laderman is inclined to believe interest in Piestewa will be long-lasting.

"Her story has both cultural and religious overtones. She's a Hopi, and the first woman of her kind, to die in combat. She's a trailblazer."

"It's hard to say, but her ethnic-religious status as a marker of identity likely makes this something that will not just disappear."

"I imagine her name on mountains, streets and other kinds or forms of memorializations that will keep her in mind."

~ Tuesday, April 29, 2003

A different name, same glorious view

You can send the worst hack in the newsroom on a hike up the side of the peak and he'll come back with a poem. He will have no choice.

At this time of year, if he gets there just after dawn, the rust-colored boulders not far from the trail head will be as cold as gun metal and the air will hang heavy, low and damp. A thin filmy cloud may cover the top of the peak like a wind-blown tissue snagged on a witch's hat.

The breeze that slips along the desert floor will have just begun creeping up the slopes of the mountain, covering him like a veil.


Lori Piestewa was a warrior

PHOENIX, AZ -- I'm wondering if during her short life Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa was ever referred to as a "squaw."
It will never happen now. She has earned that much. Not just for herself, but for every woman like her.

I have heard Piestewa referred to as a "warrior" by her brother and as a "hero" by friends and associates.
She also has been described as a good soldier and as a patriot, all of which is true.

But I have not heard anyone call her a squaw.
If the word were not offensive, as so many claim, I would have expected it to be used many times by now.

But it has not been used. And it will not be used.
Because those who so confidently and casually informed Native Americans and others that squaw is not insulting or defamatory would never use the word to describe this dedicated 23-year-old woman who was killed in Iraq.

-- E.J. Montini is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. This article was distributed by The New York Times News Service.

~ Monday, April 28, 2003

Council honors Piestewa family

Priscilla "Percy" Piestewa wiped the tears away from her eyes when Council Delegate Raymond Maxx (Tuba City/Coalmine Canyon) thanked her for her baby, the late Pfc. Lori Piestewa.

"She defended the nation and paid the ultimate price," Maxx said Monday afternoon during the first day of the Navajo Nation Council's Spring Session. "She brought everybody together, from Canada, east, west, south and north. Now she belongs to the nation and all tribes now."

Percy and her husband, Terry, listened to nine council delegates give their condolences about their special daughter who is the first woman to be killed as a result of combat during the Iraqi war.


Majesty gets a newfound dignity

So how did I react when Arizona Republic letter writers first proposed we rename Squaw Peak after the first Native American woman to die as a soldier in combat?

I thought the idea inspired.

~ Sunday, April 27, 2003

Quit bashing the minorities

When is the bashing going to stop?

The people who are complaining and pointing fingers about the name change from Squaw Peak to Piestewa Peak must be diehard racists or not of minority descent.

Everybody knows that the term "squaw" was offensive and derogatory to many Native Americans.
They made the community aware of this several years ago, yet because Whites have always ruled, the request to change the name back then was denied.

All I have to say is, "Welcome to the 21st century".
We are no longer in the '60s era when minorities had to bow down to the majority's wishes.

Samuel Esquivel, Phoenix, AZ
The writer is president of the Cesar E. Chavez LULAC Council 1086.

~ Saturday, April 26, 2003

Failing to answer question of honor to Pfc. Piestewa

We dishonor the memory of Lori Piestewa with our pettiness. She put on a uniform and went to war and was killed, leaving behind a loving family and two small children. In return we waste the opportunity to honor her sacrifice and mend a bleeding insult by depreciating her life and pouring salt on the wound.

We do this by making complicated that which is simple. By allowing ego to replace common sense. By choosing prejudice over prudence. By foolishly taking our eye off the ball. To resolve this, we only need to ask ourselves a few simple questions. The first is: Should we change the name of Squaw Peak to Piestewa Peak?

Answer: Yes.

~ Friday, April 25, 2003

Piestewa Peak has challenge coming

PHOENIX, AZ - The former chairman of the state Board of Geographic and Historic Names is challenging the legality of the last meeting - a move which, if successful, would void the decision to rename Squaw Peak in honor of a Hopi soldier killed in Iraq.

Support Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano's courageous stance
email NOW !


Pfc. Piestewa honored

" it's time.... "

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - It was an especially poignant moment that had hundreds of people drying their eyes near the end of Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa’s memorial service April 5.

~ Thursday, April 24, 2003

Concert to benefit Piestewa children

PRESCOTT, AZ — More help is on the way for the children of Lori Piestewa.
A benefit concert for Lori Piestewa’s children will be held at
7 p.m. Monday, May 28, 2003 at Yavapai College’s Performance Hall.

~ Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Exhibit Opening
April 16, 2003
Public Relations 703-533-1155/800-222-2294 Fax: 703-931-4208

Native American Women in the U.S. Armed Forces
Washington Memorial to Honor Military Service of Native American Woman,
Private Lori Piestewa

Native American Women in the U. S. Armed Forces are the focus of a new exhibit set to open at the Women In Military Service For America Memorial in Washington, DC, this Memorial Day, May 26, 2003. Through text, pictures and artifacts, the exhibit will tell the story of Native American women's service to the nation. Also featured will be the personal stories of six Native American women, including that of Operation Iraqi Freedom hero Private First Class Lori Piestewa, a Hopi woman and the first known Native American military woman killed in battle. TriWest Healthcare Alliance, a military health care contractor headquartered in Phoenix, AZ (Private Piestewa's home state), is a major sponsor of the exhibit. The exhibit is a two-phased project, with the opening of the second phase coinciding with the 2004 dedication of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

In announcing the opening of the first phase, retired Air Force Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught, president of the Women's Memorial Foundation, said, "The stories of Native American military women are a unique and important part of the larger story of women's service to the nation. We've been working toward the opening of this project for sometime. When we learned of Private Piestewa's death, we knew we needed to preserve her memory for the American public. We needed to complete the exhibit and make her a part of it. Her heroism and sacrifice were our incentive. When TriWest President and CEO David McIntyre called to ask how he could help, we knew we could make it happen."

According to Mr. McIntyre, "We've been pleased to have a long association with the Women's Memorial and to support them in their efforts to tell the remarkable story of women's service to the nation. We are especially pleased that Native American military women are the focus of this newest exhibit and that Private First Class Piestewa will be included. She is, indeed, a hero to her family, for those of us here in Arizona, and for America. It is a fitting tribute to her and TriWest is proud to be a part of it." TriWest Healthcare Alliance is the largest Defense contractor based in Arizona and has been providing health care for military families in the region, including Private Piestewa's home station of Fort Bliss, TX, for some seven years.

The exhibit will open on May 26, 2003, with a formal ceremony scheduled for 3:30 P.M. The Women's Memorial is located at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. For more information about the Memorial or the Native American women's exhibit, call 800-222-2294 or 703-533-1155 or visit the Women's Memorial website at www.womensmemorial.org.

~ Monday, April 21, 2003

In the Name of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha,
"Lily of the Mohawks"....
We beseech blessings and comfort for our sister
Lori Ann Piestewa and all of her relatives....


O God, who among the many marvels of Your Grace in the New World,
did cause to blossom on the banks of the Mohawk and of the St. Lawrence,
the pure and tender Lily, Kateri Tekakwitha,
grant we beseech You, the favor we beg through her intercession -
that this Young Lover of Jesus and of His Cross
may soon be counted among her Saints by Holy Mother Church,
and that our hearts may be enkindled
with a stronger desire to imitate her innocence and faith.
Through the same Christ Our Lord.

" Wari, tekonnoronkwanious, ise tsiati roranerenstaka, Rawennio seniwekon, sonhaa tsiui hiakounienstha, Iesos oni hetsientha raonhaa tsini honwasennaiens. Wari saiatakenti, Niio hetsienha, takwaterennaienhs ionkwarwanerahakso, nonwa nok oni tsi nentiakwenneionsere. Ethtonaiawen."
....The "Hail Mary" in Kateri's native tongue.

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha is known as the "Lily of the Mohawks" and is the first Native American woman considered for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church.
As young Native American women Kateri and Lori Ann share many of the same experiences.

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Patroness of World Youth Day 2002

We believe that we can see Blessed Kateri's hand at work in the sudden
and one might even dare say "miraculous" creation of "Piestewa Peak"
-- rising like a Phoenix in Arizona....
"Praise The Lord" !!!!

Blessed Kateri was Beatified just six months before Lori Ann was born
-- it has been 23 years since Blessed Kateri was Beatified....

Is this the last "miracle" that we have been awaiting for her canonization ??

Kaia'tano:ron Kateri Tekakwitha
Born 1656 at Ossernenon
Baptized 1676 at Caughnawaga
Died April 17, 1680 at the Saint Francis Xavier Mission, Quebec
Declared Venerable by Pope Pius XII in 1943
Beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 22, 1980
Feast Day:
April 17 (Canada)
July 14 (United States)

Kateri and Lori Ann - First of Their Kind -- "Sisters of the Spirit"

Sacheen Littlefeather
Coordinator, San Francisco Kateri Circle

I am Apache and Yaqui Pueblo Indian and the coordinator of the
"KATERI CIRCLE" for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

In my tradition, I believe in the blend of Native spirituality
and daily Mass and Communion.

I am proud of my heritage and the Apache "puberty rite" ceremonies
and the Yaqui "deer dances" in Arizona.

We honored Pope John Paul II in a traditional Native ceremony
by presenting Our Holy Father with an Eagle feather
to help carry the prayers of the Catholic Community to the Great Spirit.

We pray for the sainthood of Blessed Kateri.

We believe in the Great Mystery of our Creator
and in God's love for each and everyone of us....
no matter what hardship life brings us.

In the tradition of "Blessed Kateri", we believe in the Great Spirit
and Jesus' love touching our hearts with love and joy
and sharing these gifts with all of God's peoples.

Sacheen was honored by the Navajo Nation as "Native American Woman of the Decade"
in Tuba City, AZ in the 1990's.

~ Sunday, April 20, 2003

An American Sacrifice

Lori Piestewa's journey from Tuba City to her death in Iraq
The essential thing to understand about Lori Piestewa is that she grew up in a poor, isolated community where dreams often swirl just out of reach like the fine red dust dancing across her homeland.

Tuba City native is becoming an American icon
She has become the nation's most recognizable Native American military icon since another Arizonan, Ira Hayes, helped raise the Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima.

~ Saturday, April 19, 2003

Let's Keep "The Right Thing" Going !

"There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come."

``Schools have a responsibility to educate their students.
They should not use their influence to perpetuate misrepresentations of any culture or people.''

-- Statement from U. S. Commission on Civil Rights
calling for an end to Indian team names and mascots at non-Indian schools.

Let's build on the momentum of the all-too-rare recent dose of wisdom that changed
"Squaw Peak" to "Piestewa Peak" in Phoenix, AZ.

Let's call upon all of our State and Federal elected officials to do an across-the-map
"Replace All" of "Piestewa" for "Squaw"

Think of the possibilites for healing....

hmmmm.... "What if they actually HONORED those 800 BROKEN TREATIES ??"


U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

Official State Legislature Web Sites

~ Friday, April 18, 2003

Memorial fund created for Piestewa children
"It's very important knowing that my family is well taken care of."
.... Lori Ann Piestewa, February 17, 2003

"May her Soul and the Souls
of all the Faithful Departed
Rest in Peace. Amen."

A display honors Pfc. Lori Ann Piestewa and eight of her fallen comrades April 11 at memorial services at the Army Air Defense Artillery in El Paso. (Photo special to the Navajo Times - Donovan Quintero)

Friends and family of Lori Piestewa have established a memorial fund for her 4-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter, who are being cared for by their grandparents in Tuba City.

Those wishing to contribute to the fund, which will be used to raise the children and for their future educational needs, can send checks to"Lori Piestewa's Memorial Fund" at any Wells Fargo bank. The account has been set up under the auspices of the Hopi Nation.

Where to send flowers, cards and letters for the family of Lori Piestewa
[items can be sent via United Parcel Service or FedEx].
FOR CARDS AND LETTERS: Percy Piestewa P.O. Box 957 Tuba City, AZ 86045
FOR FLOWERS AND OTHER ITEMS: c/o Piestewa Family Juniper Drive, No. 67 Tuba City, AZ 86045

Commentary: The Death of Pfc. Lori Piestewa
Listen to NPR Morning Edition 4-8-03 - Streaming 3:54 Minutes

Piestewa Memorial:
Listen to NPR Weekend Edition 4-26-03 -Streamimg 4:12 Minutes

Daniel Kraker reports on a memorial service held this week for Army private Lori Piestewa.

She is believed to be the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the U.S. military.

Piestewa was a Hopi, but her death in Iraq has brought together tribes from across the country in mourning.


Piestewa Peak - Phoenix, AZ

Piestewa Peak Cam
(Let's see how long it takes them the change the name)

From "Derogatory" to "Honorable"
April 8 - 18, 2003

April 8, 2003 - Piestewa Peak!
Grief is a raw and penetrating emotion that should not be politicized.
But sometimes rare clarity comes out of the pain.
And sometimes unexpected healing can emerge from the tears.

The brave death of Pfc. Lori Piestewa can be one of those times.

April 11, 2003 - Lori Ann Piestewa: Honorable hero

Lori Ann Piestewa deserves all the tributes that will come her way. She will always be a young mother to her two children, now three and four years old.

She will always be a Hopi woman who left Tuba City as a soldier and returned home to the mesa as the blessing snow.

In her brief 23 years, she garnered more distinctions than most people do in triple her lifespan.

Army Pfc. Piestewa was the first American servicewoman killed in action in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

She was the first Hopi woman and the first Native American woman to die in combat in the service of the United States.

April 16, 2003 - Time needed to honor Piestewa properly
It started out as an intriguing idea, an opportunity to illustrate absolutely what is wrong with one of Phoenix's landmarks. But the idea quickly became a bandwagon and the bandwagon a freight train, and heaven help any unfortunate soul who stands in the way.

It's Piestewa Peak or bust.

Somehow the death of a brave soldier has become the latest, most lethal weapon in the war on words that wound.

April 18, 2003 - It's official: Squaw Peak now Piestewa Peak to honor Hopi soldier

The State Board on Geographic and Historic Names waived its five-year waiting period and approved the change by a 5-1 vote Thursday before a cheering crowd after a four-hour hearing.

The board sided with dozens of supporters who said that the word "Squaw" is offensive and that the mountain should be renamed after Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, pronounced py-ESS-tuh-wah. The Hopi from Tuba City was the first female American Indian soldier to be killed in combat.

April 18, 2003 - Board rights a wrong in renaming Phoenix mountain
They did the right thing. They righted a wrong. It was time.

April 21, 2003 - Our Opinion: Lori Piestewa earned honor without a wait
The Arizona Geographic and Historic Names Board normally toils away with little notice or fanfare.

Not so last week, when it stood up to a handful of backward-thinking critics and voted to rename Squaw Peak to Piestewa Peak.


Deployment Day - Ft. Bliss, TX

Two roommates
Pfcs. Jessica Lynch, left, and Lori Piestewa pose at Fort Bliss, Texas, on February 17, 2003. Piestewa was the first American woman soldier killed in the war.

Piestewa, Lynch were friends; now their families mourn, rejoice

TUBA CITY, AZ. -- A photo shows Pfcs. Lori Piestewa and Jessica Lynch the day before they were deployed: roommates, good friends, smiling in their Army fatigues.

Pfc. Lori Piestewa of Tuba City checks her equipment at Ft. Bliss, Texas, before leaving for the Middle East on February 17, 2003.

Pfc. Yesi Imperial, left, got help with her vest from Pfc. Lori Piestewa as they prepared to board a bus to a waiting plane Monday, February 17th at the rapid deployment facility at Fort Bliss.


Lori Ann Piestewa

"Qotsa-hon-mana” (White Bear Girl)
The Hopi "Lady Warrior"
1980 - 2003

In the Hopi language, the root of Piestewa means water pooled on the desert by a hard rain.
Hopis interpret her name as the People Who Live by the Water and as the Ceremonies at the Springs.

"Grief is a raw and penetrating emotion that should not be politicized.
But sometimes rare clarity comes out of the pain.
And sometimes unexpected healing can emerge from the tears.
The brave death of Pfc. Lori Piestewa can be one of those times."

.... The Arizona Republic - April 8, 2003

April 12, 2003 - Video: Lori Ann's Memorial Service - Tuba City, Arizona

Fallen Warrior

Hopi Butterfly Song

April 16, 2003 - Arizona State Legislature passes
Full text follows....

"On March 23, 2003, this nation reached a sad yet honorable milestone when another Native American soldier made the ultimate sacrifice in the deserts of Iraq defending our nation's freedom.

Private First Class Lori A. Piestewa of Tuba City became a part of the storied history of Native American military service as the first Native American woman serving in the United States military to be killed as a result of combat.

Lori A. Piestewa lost her life in a foreign land along with seven other heroic American soldiers from the 507th Maintenance Company, thousands of miles away from her home in northeast Arizona, and a world away from the three mesas at the heart of the Hopi history for nearly a thousand years.

The Hopi call themselves the Hopituh Shi-nu-mu, "the Peaceful People," and Lori A. Piestewa was a peaceful, strong and loving young woman devoted to her two young children, her family, her people and her country.

Even before her path took her so far away from the sight of Black Mesa, Lori A. Piestewa was a light to the Hopi Nation as a member of Stars in the Desert, serving as a role model for young Native Americans.

After graduating from Tuba City High School in 1998, Lori A. Piestewa chose to follow the family tradition of military service to her country as her grandfather had in World War II and her father had in Vietnam.

On May 24, 2003 a grateful nation will salute Private First Class Lori A. Piestewa with a special exhibit at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.


Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Arizona, the Senate concurring:

That the Members of the Forty-sixth Legislature express sincere regret at the passing of Private First Class Lori A. Piestewa and extend their deepest condolences to her family and many friends."

Stars in the Desert to honor warrior Piestewa
TUBA CITY, ARIZ. — Stars in the Desert will have a Hopi High School flavor this year as the Hopi Sinom Club and Miss Hopi High Randi Boucher will join the activities.
The 14th annual Stars in the Desert weekend was held Friday through Sunday, April 18-20.

On May 26, 2003 a grateful nation will salute Private First Class Lori A. Piestewa with a Special Exhibit at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

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