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Pow Wow to remember and recognize Potawatami veterans

POKAGON TWP, Mich. -

The Pokagan band of Potawatami Indians hosted a Pow Wow to celebrate the lives lost while defending the United States. 

Veterans, and their families, traveled from all over the Midwest came for the prayers, honor songs, and dances that recognized their service to the country. 

"I'm a combat veteran. So I've got some of these memories that make this a very somber event for me," says Anthony Foerster, a veteran, who is also a member of the Pokagan band. 

This is the eighth time the Oshke-Kno-Kewewen Pow Wow has served as a Memorial Day event, and means "honoring the eagle staff." 

"Our eagle staff has family feathers on it: 29 family feathers. Each of those feathers contain the names of their veterans and so that's why they're honoring the eagle staff," explains Foerster. "Because we're actually honoring all of those names that we carry when we go in."

Sydney Martin says she's proud to come to these Pow Wows to recognize her family in the military. 

"I'm, married to a veteran. And I'm a daughter of a veteran," she explains. "This Pow Wow, the ambiance of beauty and strength and power of this area, is just intense and takes over your spirit." 

A spirit of the generations of veterans that came before her, and so many others. 

"Native American warriors have the highest percentage, per capita, of serving in the U.S. Military than any other ethnic group," explains Foerster. 

It's a proud nation that is proud of their heritage, and want to celebrate and honor those who served to protect it.  

A memorium to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and to show gratitude to those still with their families. 

"Rejoice that our veterans who are still here to take care of us and be with us," says Martin. "Because they're heroes."

The above video depicts the full Pow Wow and what it means to some of those who took part in it. 

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