Monday, 18 June 2018 15:15

Native American veterans to be honored on Thursday

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STATEWIDE - Native American Veterans Day in Maine will be observed on Thursday with an event on Indian Island.

All are welcome to attend the ceremony, set for 6 p.m. at 1 Down Street, the home of much-decorated Penobscot veteran Charles Norman Shay and the site of a tipi museum commemorating his experiences as a member of the Big Red One on D-Day, June 6, 1944.


The site will now include a kiosk and new sculpture by noted Penobscot artist Tim Shay, his nephew, to be unveiled during the ceremony.


The sculpture completes a connection to Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, where a sculpture in a Native American memorial there depicts a granite turtle facing west to Indian Island. The new turtle sculpture on Indian Island faces east to Normandy, 3100 miles away.


The turtle, a personal totem for Charles Shay, links prayers from Indian Island to Omaha Beach. Shay will turn 94 later this month.


Native Americans have served in the U.S. Armed Forces in every major military conflict since the Revolutionary War and in greater numbers per capita than any other ethnic group, according to The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.