Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Get out the Kleenex...

I can hardly type for the tears... Blackfive pointed out this story at the Rocky Mountain News. I sat and read literally bawling like a baby. Here is a long excerpt:

"This evening I want to take a few minutes of your time to name my grandson," said Birgil Kills Straight, Cpl. Lundstrom's great-uncle.

"Before he enters the spirit world, it's important for him to have an Indian name, because that's how the ancestors will know him," he said.

Earlier that night, Kills Straight had gone to an Inipi, a sweat lodge, to pray for the name, and to ask the spirits to guide the fallen warrior.

After the ceremony, long after midnight, the Marines would take Lundstrom's body into the tepee, where Lakota beliefs hold that the spirits of Lundstrom's ancestors would communicate with his.

First, Kills Straight said, they needed to know who he was.

"His name is Wanbli Isnala," Kills Straight said, and then translated: "Lone Eagle."

With that, he took the eagle feather, walked to the open casket, and placed it on the Marine's chest.

"He, alone, above everything else, is an eagle," Kills Straight said. "He will fly to the highest reaches of the universe. He may bring back news to us in our dreams."

He looked to the stands of the stadium, and spoke of Lundstrom's well-known warrior ancestors.

"The blood of these people you've probably heard of runs in the blood of Brett . . . this is who Brett is," Kills Straight said. "He is a warrior."

After placing ceremonial grasses in the casket and offering prayers in Lakota, he turned again to the crowd.

"Now I want to name my other grandson," he said.

From the back of the room, Pfc. Eddy Lundstrom walked in wearing his desert camouflage uniform, the one he was wearing only a week earlier in Tikrit, when told of his brother's death. As the only surviving son in the family, he had the option to spend the rest of his tour stateside.

Instead, he plans to leave Tuesday to go back to Iraq.

In the days leading up to the naming ceremony, as Birgil Kills Straight searched for the proper names to bestow on the two brothers, he said he specifically wanted a name that might help ensure Eddy's safe return.

As the 21-year-old private stood at attention, his shoulders straight, his fingers curled slightly at his sides, Kills Straight took out another eagle feather.

"His name is Wicahci Kailehya," he said finally.

"Shining Star."

Rip your heart out, and that is only part of the story. Go read it as it is WELL worth your time. Be sure to view the slide show as well.


Blogger Rainman said...

That was pretty moving. Brings new meaning to the term wake.

Thursday, February 09, 2006 5:36:00 PM  
Blogger Pixie said...

OMG, Lori, pass the tissues...

Saturday, February 11, 2006 11:05:00 AM  

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