Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We Buried Our Friend With All Honor Due

Portrait of Cochise downloaded from the University of Arizona

Yah, ba n'neh itisgo, biisahladah, tc'iindii.

*Yes, give him the highest honors, he is soldier, all our people say this*

The Soldiers of the Raven, Butterfly, Cloud, and Wolf Societies met last night. We talked a long time. We came to consensus (which is why Native American democracies are slow, and clumsy. We act from consensus.) that our young friend had met the challenges and fulfilled all the requirements to be considered a full warrior of the Apache Nation.

At the request of his family there was a Christian service this morning. All respect was paid to the White Jesus. For the burial however, we did not put him into the ground. We had to tell the honor guard that they should fire their volleys outside the churchyard. They were not allowed to come with us to the burial ground. At first they didn't know what to do. They have their protocols and procedures. At one point while the young sergeant commanding the honor guard was still failing to understand what was happening, I turned to my friend, Silas, and said "You can't expect these type of men to comfortable with sudden changes of plan. After all they don't even like to pick out their own clothes." We had the casket, with the body on a simple handcart. The Honor Guard did their thing. I played "Amazing Grace" on the pipes, the bugles played "Taps" they fired their salute.

We carried our friend and new brother of warriors to the place where we have our scaffolds set up deep in our mountains. He is in good company there.

While Obama and McCain blather on, young men and women, from all across our nation, some, from other nations trying to gain legal citizenship status for themselves and their families are fighting and dying.

They talk, and talk while we bury our children.

They are going to talk for thirty more days. My young friend is in our mountains, naked, on a scaffold.

The time for talk is long since passed. I have been thinking of the score I've racked up since these stupid wars began and I volunteered to accompany the honor guards and play for the families.

Me: 9 funerals
Bush: 0
Cheney: 0
McCain: 0
Palin: 0

Of course, the way this score is kept, I guess that they are the fucking winners.