ARLINGTON, Virginia – For the first time, Muscogee (Creek) Nation leadership placed a wreath at the Arlington National Cemetery on Feb. 20. Principal Chief David Hill, Second Chief Del Beaver, members of the National Council and Veterans Affairs Director Grover Wind represented Muscogee Nation during this historical moment.
In November, Chief Hill and representatives were in Washington D.C. for the dedication of the Native American Veterans Memorial at the National Museum of the American Indian. While in the area, they toured Arlington National Cemetery and watched the Changing of the Guard. After experiencing the emotional moment, Chief Hill began talking with officials at Arlington about how the Nation could get an opportunity for an official wreath laying.
Robin Jenkins (Mvskoke) was contacted by Jeff Fife and then Chief Hill about creating a wreath for the occasion. Jenkins has made many wreaths and sprays for different events and was honored with the opportunity. Chief Hill and Jenkins worked together to come up with an idea for the wreath.
Chief Hill was recently notified they were approved. The timing was perfect with it being President’s Day and having the National Congress of American Indians in Washington D.C. this week.
“Everyone knows the exemplary record of Native American service in the military and how meaningful that is to our people,” Chief Hill said. “When we have the opportunity for an honor such as this, that completely represents the selflessness and sacrifice that we value as people, then we can’t pass it up.”
“It’s a tremendous and humbling honor for the Nation,” Chief continued.
Jenkins shared the Muscogee Nation’s live stream and her gratitude on her Facebook page.
“I was honored to get to make the wreath for the Muscogee Nation to be laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” Jenkins said. “It filled my heart with joy to see our Muscogee leaders participating in this ceremony.”
The ceremony was live streamed on The Muscogee Nation Facebook and the video is still available to watch. Around 125 individuals tuned in for the historical occasion.