Community

Osage Veterans Memorial opening and dedication scheduled Nov. 11

On Sunday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day, the Osage Nation will dedicate and open the Osage Veterans Memorial to the public at 0930 hours.

Construction crews started work on the memorial on June 6 to remain on track for the memorial opening to coincide with Veterans Day and other activities that day to honor and remember Osage veterans, many of whom, have their names inscribed on the memorial wall.

Members of the Osage Nation’s Veterans Memorial Commission, who worked with architecture and construction officials on the project, and other government officials and military dignitaries will be at the opening for the memorial located next to the ON Museum on the government campus in Pawhuska.

“The mission of the Osage Nation Veterans Memorial Commission is to establish a memorial to honor the service of all past, present and future generations of Osage Veterans and the sacrifices made by the families,” VMC Chairman Franklin McKinley, a U.S. Navy veteran, said in a statement.

The memorial comprises granite walls with Osage veterans’ names inscribed on the wall with space for additional names to be added. In the center of the memorial is a 22-foot sculpture eagle feather, which is believed to be the tallest feather-shaped sculpture ever made, according to VMC Coordinator Maria DeRoin (U.S. Navy veteran).

The ON Congress passed a 2011 law establishing the Veterans Memorial Commission, which is charged with overseeing the construction/ design activities of the memorial. In spring 2017, the Fifth ON Congress approved a $1.1 million appropriation bill for the Veterans Memorial for design and building costs. In May 2018, the five-member Veterans Memorial Commission selected Tulsa-based Builders Unlimited for construction and Pryse Monument Co. in Ponca City for handling the memorial granite.

Going forward, other objectives of the Veterans Memorial Commission include continuing to identify Osage veterans and to establish a written record of their service in the U.S. armed forces, according to a statement. The commission also plans to implement long-term funding techniques to provide consistent and sustainable funding for the memorial’s preservation and to cultivate community partnerships with veteran organizations to create a vibrant community of Osage veterans.

For more information on the memorial and VMC, DeRoin can be reached at (918) 287-9729 or email mdderoin@osagenation-nsn.gov