This doesn’t have a whole lot to do with my writing, but a blog can do a lot of things. I thought I’d just share some of what I’m feeling right now.
Today is the 139th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Also called Custer’s Last Stand, this battle was basically the last hurrah for the Native Americans in the Great Plains. Within 50 years, Native American resistance had basically ended and they were either forced onto reservations or assimilated into American society.
Last summer, my family and I went on a bus tour up north to see some of the landmarks of that part of the country. We started in South Dakota with Mount Rushmore and ended up in Salt Lake City. It was a really fun experience. We saw so many amazing sights and met some really great people.
One of our stops was the Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montana. We had been driving for a few hours through beautiful countryside. Coming from Silicon Valley, I can say that the Rockies are some of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. Just seeing them rise so sharply from flat land is absolutely breathtaking.
We pulled up to the battlefield and instantly it was one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been. The small building where we got off the bus was on a small hill overlooking the battlefield. My dad and I split off from the group and walked down into the field.
Almost instantly we were swallowed up by tall grass. The sounds of the group faded away and we were basically alone in a vast field. The sky stretched out farther than I thought it possibly could. That’s what really stuck with me, just the vastness of the sky. All around the grass were small white stones marking where soldiers fell and breathed their last.
Aside from the crunch of gravel underfoot and the sound of wind, it was silent. We walked without talking, just letting the sights and sounds tell us what we needed to know. It was the most beautiful cemetery I’d ever seen. That’s really what it is. A monument to the lives of those who fought both for and against a change that was destroying a way of life.
After we went back up and listened to a talk, the whole family walked over to the Indian Memorial. It was another beautiful, sheltered place to reflect. There were a few red stone markers around this site and the whole of the monument. These were in honor of the Native Americans who died protecting their culture and customs. It was really a sobering experience.
If you are ever in that area of Montana, I highly recommend you go to the Little Bighorn Battlefield. It’s one of the most amazing places I’ve been and just an amazing way to experience a piece of American history.