Lawmakers ask Biden to rescind medals for Wounded Knee massacre

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Lawmakers ask Biden to rescind medals for Wounded Knee massacre

More than a dozen members of Congress called on President Biden to use their executive authority to rescind the Medal of Honor awarded for the 19th century killings of members of the Lakota Sioux tribe, including unarmed women and children, at Wounded Knee, SD. is invoked. .

In a letter coordinated by Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, 16 Democrats, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent, called the awards a “constant shame on the nation.” While a bill to repeal the awards appears to have been stalled, lawmakers said they believed it was within Mr Biden’s authority to “provide the Secretary of Defense and Secretaries of the Military Departments and provide these when appropriate.” cancellation of honours.”

The lawmakers wrote in the letter, “For the families and descendants of those people, the repeal of these 20 Medals of Honor will have a profound and lasting impact – as will the federal government’s ongoing choice to let these unfairly awarded honors stand.” Give.” Which was sent on Tuesday.

On December 29, 1890, along Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the southwest corner of South Dakota, US Army soldiers killed hundreds of unarmed members of the Lakota Sioux tribe, including many women and children.

That day, American troops intercepted Chief Big Foot, the leader of the Minekonju Lakota, and his men on their way to the Pine Ridge Reservation. After the surrender of Lakota, the soldiers took them to a cantonment. As the soldiers were disarming the Lakota, a shot was fired, and then the soldiers attacked.

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The massacre marked one of the bloodiest acts of violence against Native Americans by Confederate forces, and was the last armed conflict between them.

Subsequently, the government took note of the conduct of the soldiers of the Seventh Cavalry – and decided to award the medal, the nation’s highest military accolade, to the soldiers involved.

Many award citations refer to “valorous conduct in battle” and “distinguished” or “distinguished” bravery, with few descriptions to justify those attributes.

To date, the nation has awarded more than 3,500 Medals of Honor, including nearly 400 soldiers who fought in campaigns against Native Americans. According to the Medal of Honor Society, about 900 awards have been canceled, most of which were given during the Civil War. None of the medals awarded for service in the fight against Native Americans have been revoked.

Earlier this year, the South Dakota state Senate passed a resolution calling for Congress to investigate the awarding of the medal. Congress formally apologized for the massacre in 1990.

Some of those who signed the letter also participated in a legislative push earlier this year. Ms. Warren; Democrat Senator Jeff Merkle from Oregon; And Representative Kai Kahle, Democrat of Hawaii, led the re-introduction of the Remove Stains Act, a bill that would revoke medals of honor from 20 United States soldiers who participated in the massacre at Wounded Knee. The bill was read twice and sent to the Armed Services Committee.

“Atrocities against unarmed Lakota men, women and children on the injured knee should be condemned, not glorified with our nation’s highest military honour. Congress must remove the stain to correct this wrong against the natives.” The Act should pass, but the President can and should use his authority to revoke these unfairly awarded medals,” Ms Warren said.

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