On Thursday, Army veteran Ed Saunders surrendered to the Crow Agency. The following photos and story he wrote and agreed to share with Daily Montanan readers:
Today I went to Custer National Cemetery, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Crow Agency to decorate the eight Medal of Honor graves there. Disabled American Veterans, Billings Chapter 10, sponsors the Medal of Honor blue funeral flags, which I have placed.
I had a nice surprise. A large group of young people from the Crow nation had arrived and, after native songs and ceremonies, they began to decorate the hundreds of graves in the national cemetery. I later learned that they were part of Pretty Eagle Catholic Academy in St. Xavier and had been for several years.
As I was placing the Medal of Honor blue flags, a few young men from the Crow Nation walked up to me and politely asked if I was a veteran as I was wearing the DAV duty cap.
I said yes and we started talking about service, honor and warrior tradition, especially in the Plains Indian tribes. I said that warrior tradition does not always mean fighting, but it does mean holding to high standards of conduct and courage in the face of adversity or challenges in their lives. The few young men nodded and thanked me for my service.
I hope I left these young men of the Crow nation with the idea of fighting for a higher place of honor. I whispered a prayer for them.