PEMBROKE, N.C. (WBTW) — November is National Indian Heritage Month, and the Lumbee Tribe on Thursday held a dedication ceremony for its new veteran memorial monument.

The monument is in front of the Lumbee Tribal Housing Complex. It’s dedicated to all veterans — past, present and future.

Tribal Chairman John Lowery gave opening remarks at the event. Others also spoke during the ceremony including some who served in Vietnam.

Some of them said they will never be able to forget the traumatic memories they have of war.

“All of the sacrificies. And all the veterans sitting out here today can remember the nights that we’ve laid out in the cold,” Terry Hunt said. “You know, sometimes the soldiers would look at us and say, ‘why?’ This is why we do it as veterans.”

The event also included a smudging. What is that, you ask?

It’s a spiritual ceremony that uses sacred herbs to cleanse negative energy.

You can pass by the memorial on Highway 711.

* * *

Aundrea Gibbons joined the News13 team in May 2023 after graduating from Clemson University with bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and communication. Aundrea is a Marion native and graduated as salutatorian in 2019. Follow Aundrea on X, formerly Twitter, and read more of her work here.