Photo album: Native American Exhibit unveiled at Memorial

It was a packed schedule that greeted attendees who came to a special ceremony the day a new Native American exhibit at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire Saturday (Aug. 4). Guest speakers, Native prayers and song, and native fry bread tacos kept the crowd busy much of the afternoon. Veterans and family members came. Families who lost loved ones in wars also came, including Clifford and Jeanette Yazzie of Fruitland, Colorado, who lost their son Army Sgt. Clifton Yazzie, 23, in Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded Jan. 20, 2006, killing Yazzie and three other soldiers (it was his second tour in Iraq); Judith Bedonie, of Farmington, who lost her husband Johnny Arthur; and several others. The day was filled with solemnity, tears and moving tributes to living and deceased veterans who are being recognized in the new exhibit.

(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Picuris Pueblo Vietnam Veteran Red Eagle Rael (center) was present along with several family members. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)

 

(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Debra Herbst, CW0-3, retired, USMC and manager of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire, welcomes visitors. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
TyAnn Nakai, who was instrumental in the creation of the exhibit, was master of ceremonies for the ceremony. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Eldridge and Reanetta Etsitty (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Eldridge Etsitty, TyAnn’s grandfather, (with Reanetta Ettsy) gave the invocation. A Native American church songs recording artist, Etsitty performed blessings and songs “to honor and soothe the souls of those warriors in attendance and those who never made it home (from the David Westphall Veterans foundation website).” (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Jack Fox, Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Veteran Services, gives opening remarks. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Guest speakers Kelly Noble Zunie, Wes Studi, Ryan Begay and Nancy De Santis (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Jack Fox gives Wes Studi a certificate of appreciation and a commemorative coin — an honor normally reserved for New Mexico veterans. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Chuck Howe, founder of the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center of Angel Fire, served 23 years as an Army officer before retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He served in Vietnam, Korea, Germany and throughout the United States, first as an officer, then with military intelligence. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Chuck Howe (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Guest speaker Wes Studi, actor and Vietnam Veteran (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Wes Studi leads an impromptu stretching session. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Teddy Draper III, a Marine Recon Veteran, artist and certified personal trainer, is the son of the late Navajo Code talker Teddy Draper, Sr. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Ryan Begay is a USAF Veteran, actor, videographer and photographer. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Kelly Noble Zunie, daughter of the late U.S. Marine Cpl. Rogan Noble, a longtime employee of the Cherokee Nation’s Office of Veterans Affairs and Housing Authority and Vietnam veteran, represented military families at the ceremony. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Nancy De Santis, co-founder and programs director of Horses for Heroes, Cowboy Up (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
In addition to singing several Native songs, Eldridge Etsitty and Reanetta Etsitty performed a smudging ceremony to drive away negative energies and restore balance. Veterans and family members lined up to receive the blessing. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
An extended family from Picuris Pueblo, New Mexico (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Teddy Draper III painted this portrait of TyAnn Nakai, which greets visitors entering the Native American Exhibit. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Flags adorn the windows. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Red Eagle Rael of Picuris Pueblo was the model for this painting “Ashes to Dust” by JD Challenger, which can be seen in the gift shop. Posters of the art are available for sale there. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Following the ceremony, guest enjoyed fry bread tacos and watermelon. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)