On March 23, PFC Lori Piestewa and her company were ambushed near Nasiriyah, Iraq. She and her company were considered MIA. After an attempt to free American prisoners of war it was learned that Lori Piestewa, as well as several other members of her company, did not survive the ambush.
Since then many people have joined to make sure that Lori Piestewa's memory is not forgotten. Here are some highlights of those efforts:
The American Indian College Fund announced it has established a college fund in honor of Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, who is believed to be the first American Indian woman killed in combat. Piestewa, a Hopi Indian from Tuba City, Ariz., died in southern Iraq. She was a single mother with a son, 4, and a daughter, 3.
The scholarship will go toward any remaining unmet financial needs for college that her children have when they become college age, after taking into account other scholarships that have already been established for them. Any remaining funds will be used to underwrite an annual scholarship to a tribal college or university for a female American Indian military veteran.
A fund has been set up for the family of Lori Piestewa, a mother of two children who was the first U.S. female soldier killed in the Iraq war. During the National Indian Gaming Association's (NIGA) 2003 Annual Trade Show and Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, a moment of silence was observed and prayers were offered, led by Color Guards from the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and the Oneida Indian Nation of Wisconsin. An honor song was performed by Southern Nation drum group. Over the three-day conference, NIGA received over $85,000 in pledges to be given to the Lori Piestewa Memorial Fund.
The Grand Canyon State Games announced the inaugural Lori Piestewa National Native American Games to honor Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, believed to be the first Native American woman killed in combat. The games were held July 17-20, 2003 throughout northern Arizona and attracted thousands of participants from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii.
"We are grateful that the family of Lori Piestewa is allowing her name to be used with the inaugural National Native American games, " said Erik Widmark, executive director Grand Canyon State Games. "We accept this honor with great humility and profound responsibility. Lori's passion for sports will be emblematic of the energy, enthusiasm and commitment the participants will put forth in this inaugural national competition."
Piestewa Peak named for Lori Piestewa
Squaw Peak in north-central Phoenix will be renamed Piestewa Peak. The State Board on Geographic and Historic Names waived its five-year waiting period and approved the change by a 5-1 vote before a cheering crowd after a four-hour hearing. The board sided with dozens of supporters who said that the word "Squaw" is offensive and that the mountain should be renamed after Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, pronounced py-ESS-tuh-wah. The Hopi from Tuba City was the first female American Indian soldier to be killed in combat.
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