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Gauthier 1 John Gauthier English 101-132 Mr.

Neuburger 26 September 2011 Descriptive Essay Wounded Knee On December 29 1890 more than 300 men women and children were massacred by the U.S. 7th Calvary Regiment on the Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation. The United States called it the battle of Wounded Knee and to this day still does. My family is Menominee and Ottawa and I value my heritage a lot. Even though I am not Lakota, Wounded Knee still holds a place in my heart because it represents the struggles that all the North American Tribes suffered. Driving down highway 27 I notice how barren the land is compared to the San Gabriel Mountains I am used to seeing every day. The light brown grass rolls over hills farther and farther into the distance until it rolls over the edge of the earth. The suns rays shine on the grass giving it a golden shine that reflects into the car onto the grey fabric ceiling. There was only a few more moments of taking in the golden sights before we got out of the car. We pulled the car up to a dirt parking lot, the golden grass still glowing on the horizon. When I got out of the car the air was clear, like the mountains I am used to, but it felt thicker and as if it gave me more energy. I can hear the sounds of the wind making endless circles around me and the constant conversations carried on by my family. I looked into the sky, it was starting to get cloudy but it was still warm. As time went on only blotches of the suns rays were making the golden grass. My family and I started walking down a long narrow dirt path way. The golden grasses were reaching up to my knees, swaying

Gauthier 2 back and forth in the calm winds. After what seemed like an eternity of walking we finally reached the mass grave. The grave was fenced off, and what looked like concrete surrounded the edges of the graves. I stand up on the fence to over look the mass grave an instant sadness falls over me. I begin to cry remembering the things both my mother and grandfather told me. I stayed standing there on the fence knowing that mothers, fathers, and children of all ages had died here. I could not imagine seeing myself in the same situation. After several moments of contemplating my mother, looks at me with her dark brown ember like eyes that are full of tears and tells me we should get moving if we want to see the church before it starts to rain. We make our way up a hill, on top of it sits a typical small white chapel. I stand there stuck, as if I cannot move its the exact same church that I saw in the movie Lakota Woman which followed the story of a woman named Mary Crow Dog during the time of The Siege of Wounded Knee in the 70s. The feeling I have here is over whelming, thinking about all the history of my people that took place here fills my thoughts like the swirling of water when you pour it into a glass. Upon visiting this place I feel a new found strength in my ties to my heritage. After visiting I know that Wounded Knee will always be a place of great sadness, but it is a place for us to remember the Native American struggles, and the struggles they still face today.