Commemorating Little Big Horn
127 years ago, the Battle of Little Big Horn was fought. For decades, American children were taught to think of Little Big Horn as Custer’s Last Stand. We were taught about the noble sacrifice that Custer made trying to battle the Indians. The site of the battle was named the Custer Battlefield National Monument. And apparently no one but Native Americans thought much about Custer’s opponents.
In recent years, however, this has changed. More and more people are starting to realize that the Native Americans who fought Custer were fighting a noble cause. Custer was a foreign invader, the Native Americans were simply trying to protect their homelands. We’ve been taught that Custer and the US Calvary was in the right, but it is becoming harder to deny that the Native Americans were the victims.
At Little Big Horn, the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho nations banded together to form a force of about 7,000. These men fought bravely against Custer’s troops. Many of the Native American warriors were killed along with the US Calvary troops. But for most of the century-and-a-quarter that has passed since the battle, only the US Calvary dead were honored.
Fortunately, this has been rectified. A new monument has been built at the site, commemorating the Native American warriors who lost their lives at the battle. Also, in the early 1990s, the name of the park was changed to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.
There are still millions who still believe that the Native Americans were murderers who slaughtered Custer’s troops at Little Big Horn. Hopefully these attitudes can be changed as news of the new monument and unbiased recountings of the battle spread throughout the country.