Memorial services held for Piestewa

By Cherokee Mangus
Phoenix, Arizona (NFIC) April 2010

 Left: Percy and Terry Piestewa
with the POW/MIA/KIA Honor
Guard. Photo by Elizabeth Reyes
Seven years ago on March 23, those serving in United States Army 507th Maintenance Company, Army Forward Support Battalion 3d Infantry Division, North Carolina Marines of Task Force Tarawa and Air Force 347th Rescue Wing 41st and 38th Rescue Squadrons gave their lives in the name of freedom.

On March 23, 2003, the Army unit was ambushed by Iraqi soldiers.

The 7th Annual Sunrise Memorial Service began with Lori’s daughter, Carla Piestewa, singing the National Anthem  followed by the sounds of tribal drum and prayer songs by tribal groups.

Left: Lori Piestewa’s Father, son
and Mother. 
Photo by David Carrasco

“Arizonans for Piestewa Memorial Committee" scheduled the annual sunrise service. Piestewa’s parents, Percy and Terry Piestewa are familiar with military service and sacrifice. Piestewa’s dad, Terry Piestewa, is a Vietnam veteran and the son of World War II veteran. The  parents presented a message of hope   in the gatherings that all people can be united through the loss.

Attendees included the POW/MIA/KIA Honor Guard and the Patriot Guard Riders.

Also present were former POW’s Spc. Shoshana Johnson and Pfc. Jessica Lynch   as well as people from all walks of life gathered in Phoenix, Arizona at the base of Piestewa Peak which is named to honor Army Pfc Lori Ann Piestewa and to honor  US soldiers killed in Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

“The 7th annual memorial for our fallen recognizes the dedication and sacrifice of the military families and honors those that defend our freedom,” according to Josie Kakar-Delsi.