On June 25th, legislation was introduced calling for the U.S. to formally rescind the Medals of Honor that were awarded to 20 U.S. cavalry troopers after the Wounded Knee Massacre.
The National Congress of American Indians have long condemned the massacre and have advocated for the rescinding of the Medals. In 2001, the United States Congress also officially changed the name of the Wounded Knee Battle to the Wounded Knee Massacre. However, they did not rescind the medals or compensate the victims.
Representative Denny Heck along with Rep. Deb Haaland and Rep. Paul Cook have introduced the “Remove the Stain Act” H.R. 3467 which would retroactively rescind the 20 Medal of Honor medals they issues to the cavalry troopers who participated in the massacre.
We, the undersigned, represent veterans of the U.S. military of all branches. We unequivocally support the passage of the Remove the Stain Act (H.R. 3467).
The Medal of Honor is reserved for service members who have distinguished themselves through acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty, frequently courageous accomplishments during battle against immeasurable odds and typically sacrificing themselves to save their comrades at arms. The Wounded Knee recipients weaken the validity of the Medal of Honor for all those who rightly earned the commemoration, converting their brave sacrifices to the likes of brutal murders of women and children.
As veterans, we are aware of our legacy as military veterans as participants in the ways in which we have perpetuated injustice across the globe and against indigenous people. We strongly condemn the violence used against the Sioux people, and believe these medals from Wounded Knee tarnish the Medal of Honor. Congress should act to remove the stain.
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