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Wounded Knee Hurt and Confusion Continues

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After more than 100 years, it is clear there is still plenty of hurt surrounding the Wounded Knee massacre of American Indians. Over the weekend, Colorado National Guard helicopters flew to the site to participate in a tribal healing remembrance. But the Black Hawks were waved away from the Pine Ridge Reservation, where a historical presentation on the December 29, 1890, slaughter of Lakota men, women, and children was planned, according to USA Today. Belva Hollow Horn, a descendent of survivors of the massacre, says allowing helicopters to land at the site “was outrageous.” Another of the protesters, Olowan Martinez, notes an FBI raid of the reservation in 1973: “The U.S. military can go elsewhere to hear the story. Our ancestors at Wounded Knee were killed by the U.S. military, and my father, a veteran of Wounded Knee in 1973, lies buried there. They have no respect to come back where they put the blood of our relatives on the ground.” But Theresa Two Bulls, president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, apologizes both to descendants of massacre victims, who thought military helicopters were disrespectful, and to the National Guard, who had been given permission to land. “There was a lack of communication,” Two Bulls says. “I should have communicated myself with everybody.” The Colorado Army National Guard had volunteered to participate, according to The Denver Post. “While the Battle of Wounded Knee is a dark chapter in the history of the Army, without learning from the mistakes of our past, we are doomed to repeat them,” Captain Michael Odgers, a spokesman for the Colorado Army National Guard, says. “This trip was taken to better understand our shared histories, and we hope those who protested the visit can begin to understand our motives.”

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