The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians will be hosting a replica of “The Gift,” a monument to honor the sacrifices and patriotism of American Indian and Alaskan Native Veterans, at the Chumash Casino Resort through May 30th.
The 12-foot bronze sculpture by A. Thomas Schomberg was selected by the official American Indian Alaska Native Veterans Memorial Committee. It will serve as the centerpiece monument at its final resting place at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California.
“We are pleased to host “The Gift” as they make their way through California on a state-wide tour,” said Kenneth Kahn, Tribal Chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “As a tribe, it is important for us to honor our veterans and recognize them for their service to our Country.”
The monument will be the first national memorial in a national veterans cemetery to honor 200 years of patriotism by Native Americans.
The AIAN Veterans Committee hopes the tour will also help raise $3 million dollars needed to complete construction of the entire installation at the Riverside National Cemetery.
“We want America to know that we too have a memorial that shows not just our pride – there is plenty of that – but a visible testimony where our people can mourn,” said Vietnam Veteran Bo Mazzetti, Chairman of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians and Honorary Chairman of the AIAN Veterans Committee. “Where others will actually see and feel the sacrifices Indian people have made and continue to make for love of this country.”