Editorials , Columns

Celebrating the Fourth of July

Osages of the past had a history of patriotism and of being ready to stand up and put their lives on the line for what they believed in.  

Throughout our history there were periods of fighting with rival tribes, it was expected of them and Osage People supported their warriors. Most Tribes have a culture that has been shaped in some way by warfare.   Today, descendants of those warriors of the past who found it necessary to engage in combat often find humor in stories about each other, and about the enemy, and that is about as serious as it gets.

Osages have never been at war with the United States of America. However, during World War I there were many Osages who voluntarily enlisted in the armed forces and went to Europe and fought for the United States in that war with honor.

During World War II there were many Osages who voluntarily enlisted and many were drafted, and they fought with honor in those distant places.

Osages also supported the war effort by spending their oil royalties to purchase War Bonds that supported the war effort. They were also involved as workers who worked in the factories that turned out everything an army needs to fight a war of the scale of those two wars.

It is also important in today’s world to stop, observe and pay tribute to those individuals who at some point in time have left a life of peace and tranquility to take up arms and defend a way of life that we all know is worth defending. 

Patriotism is an important characteristic. It too is not limited in where it will be found. Not limited to any group of citizens nor to any tribal group. In all wars that Osages have participated in the Osage Warriors gave a good account of themselves.

During the past minute or two I have mentioned those Patriots who have stood up to protect his or her People.  That is not an empty word. It is a fact that Patriots are for real.

Osages acknowledge the Fourth of July as a day to celebrate the United States of America declaring independence from England. 

Many Osages that I am acquainted with celebrate that Independence with a celebration that looks like most other summertime American celebrations by eating outdoors, perhaps a parade, setting off loud explosions, or fireworks that reminds one of a war. It is a true celebration that expresses a national pride that we all understand.

Many Osages I know celebrate by attending a dance that has as its center a Drum. The Drum and the Songs that are attached to those Drums reminds one of the struggles and hardship experienced by those Patriots who fought to keep the Osage People free from outside forces. 

It is amazing that those Osages of the past and present have managed to live free from physical and emotional control through all of this time. We owe it to many people. That is why we celebrate the Fourth of July.