Yurok Tribe opens 3.3 million dollar Veteran's ceremony
WEITCHPEC- On Tuesday, the Yurok tribe unveiled a brand new multimillion dollar cemetery for tribal veterans and their families. The project, funded by a grant from the U.S. Office of Veterans Affairs will be the final resting place for Yurok veterans in the future.
The facility, located on a hillside, is secluded in the forest several miles east of Weitchpec. There, the tribe says, the cemetery will serve more than 465 Native American veterans and their families.
"There is no greater honor than to provide a final resting place to honor those that have fought for the freedom of our country. For our people," said Thomas O'Rourke Sr. the Chairman of the tribe.
At the ribbon cutting an American flag was raised and flown at half staff as the National Anthem played. Several veterans from different branches of the military were honored at the ceremony.
"It's a really great place that's just for us," said Charlene O'Rourke, a Navy veteran.
The cemetery is true to tribal tradition and features indigenous plants and Yurok architecture. "That's what separates this cemetery from other cemetery's, the way that it's put together, it's incorporated tradition and culture," said O'Rourke Sr.