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Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz Media Avail Lummi Indian Nation Ceremony at the Pentagon

Presenter: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
September 19, 2004

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz Media Avail Lummi Indian Nation Ceremony at the Pentagon

            Q:  What do you think of the totem poles? [paraphrased]


            A:  Well, it really is a powerful symbol of national unity.  And when you hear the history of   Native Americans that served in our military and continue to this day with the kind of heroism and devotion they display, it really speaks to people who are ready to live in the future and not the past and really believe in what this country tries to stand for and most of the time, we manage to.  Those values of freedom and liberty in those poles are just wonderful.


            I hadn’t quite realized until this afternoon just how much real effort and spirit had gone into producing them all.  When you see how enormous they are, you realize this was not a small feat. And how proud they all are of being part of this country.  It’s the best in us.


            Q:  These poles - do you think this will help the families with the healing process?


            A:  I know for Mrs. [Lisa] Dolan, I just spoke to, it was a wonderful thing to be here today.  Obviously, there is a woman there that will never recover, but knowing that your part of a whole community, knowing that the rest of the country appreciates the sacrifice your parents made, your husband, your kids made, and knowing that we’re committed to make sure that that sacrifice is not in vain, is very powerful. 


            And the sense from the Native Americans that it’s their county that was attacked, it was all of our country.  And the country is not just a physical thing but it’s these two values of liberty and freedom, is very powerful.  For me, much more powerful than I expected frankly.


            Thank you.


            Q:  Thank you very much.

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